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Peter May

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WTN: Bellevue Estate ‘Houdamond’ Pinotage 2009

by Peter May » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:03 pm


Bellevue Estate ‘Houdamond’ Pinotage 2009


This is Bellevue Estate’s standard Pinotage relabelled for UK supermarket Marks & Spencer as Houdamond as M&S likes to have exclusive labels. Because the name Bellevue has already been trademarked in several countries, the Estate also uses the name Bellemore and Morkel, latter being the owning family’s surname, in various markets.

Bellevue were one of the first to plant Pinotage, they have one of the oldest existing vineyards and they made the world’s first varietal Pinotage, 1959 vintage, which was marketed by the SFW co-operative under the Lanzerac brand name in 1961.
This is the wine that converted my friend who was convinced he hated Pinotage. It was back in 2011 and Houdamond Pinotage was one of the bottles on the table at our wine club’s annual dinner dance. I asked him to just try a mouthful and to pour away the rest of the glass if he didn’t like it.

When, a couple of days later, I went to buy some for myself, the shelf was empty. My friend had bought a case, the other branches of M&S were also stripped bare by other club members. Eventually I managed to get just 3 bottles.

Anyway, said friend had a barbecue last night and he magicked up his penultimate bottle of that original purchase for us to enjoy.

Eight years later it tastes very young, with fresh juicy plummy flavours with the oak supporting structure without announcing its presence.

Lovely stuff, 2009 vintage from this estate was really something outstanding.

Viticulturist is owner Dirkie Morkel, winemaker is Wilhelm Kritzinger

houdamond-2009.jpg
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Bellevue Estate ‘Houdamond’ Pinotage 2009
WO Stellenbosch
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Ken Schechet

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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Ken Schechet » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:46 pm

I have a friend who owned a wine store here in West Palm Beach for several years. It was full of all kinds of excellent wines. But each year his top seller was Ken Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc, a very good South African wine selling for under $10. Very nice summer wine if you can find it.

I have enjoyed roses, chenin blancs, cabs, and other wines from SA, but I just cannot get my taste buds around a Pinotage. I've only tried a few but they just seem kind of skunky to me. However, I'm still open to trying one. Peter or anyone else, do you have a suggestion for a Pinotage for someone who doesn't like them? A gateway drink, if you will. A food match would also be helpful since I usually drink wine with food.
Ken
Lord, give me coffee to change the things I can change, and wine to accept the things I can't.
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Peter May

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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Peter May » Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:56 am

Hi Ken

Jancis Robinson's 'Wine Grapes' book list 1,300+ varieties used in wine production and the chances are no-one will like all of them. Any variety that is flavoursome will have those who find the flavours attractive and thus some who don't. Maybe Pinotage isn't for you.

However, you've only tasted a few, and you don't say how long ago. Because distribution of South African wine is so patchy in the USA my recommendations wouldn't be of use if one couldn't get them.

However I have looked at Total Wine for stores near West Palm Beach, Florida and at the Palm Beach Gardens branch they've got two first class ones -- although they don't show a vintage
- Neethlingshof 'Owl Post'
http://www.totalwine.com/wine/red-wine/ ... /130057750
- Spier 21 Gables
http://www.totalwine.com/wine/red-wine/ ... /126031750

Owl Post 2014 won the Trophy at last years International Wine & Spirit Competition Awards.

2014 and 2105 were good Pinotage vintages in the Cape.

Also if you're travelling, look for Pinotage from Virginia - Lovingston Estate and California

Judges notes on the 2014 Owl Post are here
http://www.pinotage.org/2016/11/neethli ... ondon.html
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Peter May

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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Peter May » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:52 am

Ken Schechet wrote: A food match would also be helpful since I usually drink wine with food.


I put Pinotage* in the same sort of area as Zinfandel and Malbec -- all three coming from major meat eating countries. So, red meats, steak, especially cooked outdoors.

Also the natural sweet effect from Pinotage makes it a good match with spicy Asian foods. I almost only drink with meals.

*when made red in a 'serious' style with wood aging.
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Ken Schechet » Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:05 pm

Thank you Peter. I will be up in Palm Beach Gardens in the next few days and will look for those bottles. I'm a big Malbec fan and it's definitely outdoor grilling season here, so I'll try one the next time I would have served a Malbec. But I will have a Malbec in reserve just in case....
Ken
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:36 pm

Spier Cables 21 Chenin Blanc and Cab Sauv are downtown here in Edmonton but no Pinotage as far as I can tell :) .
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Peter May » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:40 am

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Spier Cables 21 Chenin Blanc and Cab Sauv are downtown here in Edmonton but no Pinotage as far as I can tell :) .

I am not familiar with either, but 21 Gables is their top lavel. Platter rates both at 4 stars with the Pinotage & Sauvignon blanc at 4.5

Spier make a large range of wine, 6 ranges plus the flagship Frans K Smith blend available at the winery, plus more labels for various markets and also 'own label' wines..

I'll look forward to your tasting notes.
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WTN - Meerlust 'Red' 2013

by Peter May » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:07 am

Meerlust Estate 'Red' 2013
EWO Stellenbosch

Red appears in years the flagship Rubicon is not released ( 'declassified'), or sometimes as here from wines from younger vines that didn't make the selection for Rubicon.

Its a bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all estate grown. (percentages not given)

It taste like an expensive claret from a top year. Rich and full of fruit, no harshness but full budied and silky smooth. Soft tannins well in the background, black berry fruits depth and enough complexity to interest.
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WTN: Beyerskloof Pinotage 2014

by Peter May » Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:25 am

Beyerskloof
Pinotage 2014
WO: Western Cape

This is the basic 'white label' Pinotage from this Pinotage advocate winery and the largest selling Pinotage brand.

Maybe they're clearing space for the 2017 vintage but this was discounted to make it impossible not to buy.

It's a easy going red to be grabbed anytime, so that's what I did this week when delayed in getting home and having to rush to make dinner (cauliflower steaks with roasted okra and dhal.

Wine was put in fridge for 40 mins as temps were nudging 30C (28C=82F).

Easy drinking, inviting berry fruits such a quaffable wine.

The wine's been such a success that grapes are now sourced throught region - in the past only from Stellenbosch - made and aged in tank on staves, bottled with a screwcap.


The Reserve (black label) is a barrel aged, and 'Diesel' is a barrel selection of the best.

('Reserve Selection' (black label) is an export label midway between standard and Reserve, being a blend of tank aged and barrel aged.)
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Ken Schechet » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:56 pm

Peter, thank you so much for your suggestions. I went to Palm Beach Gardens and bought the Owl Post Pinotage because how can you not buy a wine that has banana notes.

The tasting went very quickly from "This doesn't suck" to "This is an absolutely charming wine." Both my wife and I found that the more we drank it the more we liked it. I tried it with a marinated skirt steak, what we would call a Churrasco around here, which is a dish I would usually pair with a Malbec. It paired very well with the Pinotage. However, we also were serving some teriyaki chicken meat balls and I think it went great with them. It was probably the tropical fruit flavors in the wine that worked so well. It also went nicely with chocolate.

The back label calls it "complex and full bodied". Maybe in South Africa where everybody is upside down and the blood rushes to their head. Medium bodied at best and not overly complex, but something's definately going on in that bottle. I think I'm going to buy another bottle or two and let one sit for at least 5 years. Then we'll see what's what.

My previous ventures with Pinotage were at least 15 years ago and must have been cheap plonk. This was a completely different experience. It will never be my favorite wine but I'd definitely drink it again and I'd encourage anyone on the forum to give it a go.

You are a Pinotage Advocate Extrodinaire. Thanks again.
Ken
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Robin Garr » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:38 am

I've been disappointed in the limited selection of South African wines available locally, but Mulderbosch has come through with three good varietal wines. Here's the third and last ...

Mulderbosch 2015 Western Cape Chenin Blanc Steen Op Hout ($14.99)

This is a clear, straw-color wine with glints of gold. Its ripe aromas center on musky melons, honeydew and ripe cantaloupe, a hint of juicy peach and a touch of tangerine. These mixed-fruit aromas carry over in a palate impression that's medium-bodied, quite dry, and shaped by zippy fresh-fruit acidity that lingers into a very long finish. Its 14 percent alcohol seems a bit high for a white, but the wine carries it well. U.S. importer: Terroir Selections, St. Helena, Calif. (May 23, 2017)

FOOD MATCH: It would be a fine seafood wine and good with roast or grilled chicken or pork. I like Chenin Blanc with spicy Asian fare, and it worked well with a Thai-style cauliflower red curry.

WHEN TO DRINK: Chenin Blanc is a notably ageworthy wine, and this one's good balance and clean modern screw cap suggest that it would hold up well, and perhaps evolve, over several years at good cellar conditions.

VALUE:
My local price is within reach of the $13 U.S. average retail listed on Wine-Searcher.com.

WEB LINK
Here's a winery fact sheet on Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc Steen Op Hout, and a report on the 2015 vintage in particular. Finally, this link will download a detailed technical sheet.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Find vendors and check prices for Mulderbosch Western Cape Chenin Blanc on Wine-Searcher.com.
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Tim York

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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Tim York » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:11 am

I've already posted about my surprise and pleasure at finding this South African bottle at a local supermarket and provided a link about its origin which shows that its producer, Anwilka vineyards, has now been merged with the well known Klein Constantia. There is a French connection in that Hubert de Boüard and Bruno Prats were shareholders in the origin venture and remain shareholders in the now merged entity. I doubt if their involvement is much more than financial and marketing for francophiles.

2013 Anwilka Ugaba - South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch (6/26/2017)
This wine made from Syrah 84%, CabSauv and Petit Verdot is much better than the cliché ridden back label implies. Dark coloured and quite full bodied, it shows vigorous savoury berry fruit tinged particularly with blackcurrant, some spice, hints of vanilla and liquorice together with fresh acidity and it carries its 14.5% alcohol and 30% new oak ageing lightly. I don't think that there is enough tannic structure for much further positive evolution. Good+ right now and at €10 it represents reasonable QPR worthy of repurchase.
Image
Posted from CellarTracker

Constantia is the source of a mythical dessert wine made from Muscat grapes since the 18th century and it used to figure on top restaurant wine lists of European capitals in the 19th century often called Vin de Constance. So hardly a New World upstart. I would love to taste one.
Tim York
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Jenise » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:37 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:BTW, I have been a very keen supporter of SA wines and have a nice selection here at home including some Straw Wine from Mullineux.


That's killer stuff, isn't it?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Patchen Markell

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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Patchen Markell » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:56 am

Just sneaking in under the wire with this one! Waterkloof 2016 Stellenbosch Mourvèdre Rosé, "Cape Coral." Very, very pale pink, and a correspondingly delicate flavor: a touch floral, a touch of cherry, and a whiff of herb; quite dry. Seems light in the mouth at first but becomes satisfyingly medium-bodied as it warms, and goes very nicely with an improvised pea-shoot and homemade ricotta pesto. Easy-drinking, straightforward, and silly-good value at $14.00.

(Apparently this is sometimes identified as "Circumstance" or "Waterkloof Circumstance" or "Circumstance by Waterkloof" -- which sounds to me like a line of crystal stemware. This bottle does have the phrase "A Wine of Circumstance" on the label. I think "Cape Coral" is a vineyard name, but I'm not sure.)
cheers, Patchen
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Jenise » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:01 pm

I bought an earlier vintage of that a few years ago from K & L, who said it was their staff favorite and a big seller. They weren't wrong about how good it was.

Wish we saw more of the better So Afr wines up here, but they're scarce.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by JC (NC) » Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:28 am

2014 Paul Cluver Estate Chardonnay, Elgin, South Africa. Possibly I overrated this on a previous occasion or maybe I am underrating it tonight. I gave it 93 points about eighteen months ago and 88 points tonight on CellarTracker.
Light gold color. Ripe pear scents along with tropical elements. Fairly long finish. On the palate I find some oak influence but within a balanced framework. I like it.
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