When I talked about our visit to Lovingston Winery, I mentioned that the pinotage grape was relatively new to me but that I could come to like it. Pinotage has a lot of detractors, and to be fair, there are a lot of really horrible pinotage wines out there. There are also some real advocates for this hybrid grape (pinot noir and cinsault) most closely associated with the South African wine industry. After all, there is an entire blog dedicated to this grape, and a fellow VA blogger, Dezel, organized a cross-blog pinotage party earlier this year (that I had to miss due to travel for my day job). We recently opened the bottle of the ’07 Lovingston Pinotage we bought to better figure out how we feel about pinotage and to help us towards our goal of joining the century club.
I am by no means a wine expert; I’m just a woman who loves and enjoys wine. I’ve drunk enough of it, however, that I’ve developed a reasonable vocabulary for describing what I smell and taste in wines. I can’t typically pick out 20 different components, but I can give a few representative ones. This wine gave me a lot of trouble in this regard, however. At first, all I could get was a bit of an earthy nose and some subtle dark fruit flavors. As I stayed with it (and looked at a list of tasting terms (thanks to vinography), I was able to get a bit more detailed.
I got an earthy, slightly raisiny nose. I may also have been picking up a few notes of rubber that people say is common with this grape. This may be due to the power of suggestion, however, as I was just trying to figure out what that somewhat unfamiliar aroma was (it wasn’t really unpleasant, however; it was just unusual). I got earthy dark fruit flavors (plums I think) along with a hint of the rubber I’m pretty sure I got on the nose (again, not bad, just different).
At the end of this, I’m still not totally sold on pinotage, but I’m open to trying other bottles people recommend so that I can get a better handle on whether or not I actually do like this grape.
The Pinotage: Afrikaans for “what is this in my glass?” by Swirl, Sip, Snark, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.