Saxenburg Vineyards are situated on the edge of the Bottelary Hills, which are made up of decomposed granite, which Winemaker Dirk van Zyl told me is different to the decomposed granite on the eastern side of the Stellenbosch Appellation against the Helderberg, This results in more feminine wines. This is the end of Pinotage Month in which the grape is celebrated.
The grapes for the Saxenburg Private Collection Pinotage 2017 come from a single vineyard on a west facing slope on the Estate. The heat of the Summer vineyards is ameliorated by cooling breezes off False Bay and Table Bay. Here the grapes ripen early at lower sugar content which means a lower alcohol in the final wine. They go into open top fermenters with delicate punch downs to extract gently the flavours and tannins. A year in second and third fill French Oak Barrels, the prefilled barrels provide oak support to the vibrant fruit. The wine is then prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is simple and elegant. In the glass, the wine is a dark plum at the heart which pales out to ruby at the edges. The aromas and flavours segue one into the other. Classical fruit, red berries and cherries from the Pinot parent and mulberries and forest berries from the Cinsaut. From entry there is a fresh fruit acidity which goes in a single thread to the long and gently waning aftertaste. Excellent body, good fruit on the mid palate, supported by the oak with its vanilla and spice. A wine for drinking now, though a year or two of cool cellaring will reward.
The Saxenburg Private Collection Pinotage 2017 is no quaffer, made for gentle sipping. Chill it slightly for greater enjoyment. It is a perfect food wine and loves spicy foods. A vegetarian dish, Dianne Bibby’s Ginger & Chickpea Stew is perfect as a companion. Click HERE for her recipe.
Buy Dianne Bibby’s e-Cook Book HERE
Read more about Saxenburg Wine Estate – CLICK HERE