2004 Fairvalley Pinotage South Africa.

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2004 Fairvalley Pinotage South Africa.

Postby Bob Ross » Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:24 am

2004 Fairvalley Pinotage Coastal Region South Africa. 14% alcohol; screwcap. $6.00 a glass at Endless Vines. "the hands that work the soil feed the soul".

Imported by Vinovations Imports, Charlotte North Carolina. Website.

Purple red color, deep hue, restrained fruit aroma wiht hints of spice and earth, good red fruit tastes, spice, earth, a bit of chocolate, quite acidic with light oak and mild tannins, medium mouth feel, medium finish. I would have liked this better with less acidity, more tannins, but promising. 2*+.

Regards, Bob

Notes: Fairvalley.

The Fairvalley Workers Association, founded in 1997, was set up by the employees of Fairview Wine and Cheese Estate in order to develop and manage their own property. Initial funding, which went to purchase a 38 acre farm adjacent to Fairview, was provided equally by Charles Back, owner of Fairview, and the South African government. Subsequent funding for the development of homes and eventual construction of a wine cellar is being arranged through commercial activities.

Cellar facilities at Fairview have been provided for Fairvalley's winemaker, Awie Adolf, to make wine. His first vintage, a 1998 Chenin Blanc, was enthusiastically snapped up by one of the UK 's high profile wine retailers. Their first vintage of red wine was a 2001 Pinotage. In 2003, the range was extended to include Sauvignon Blanc. They intend to develop the range over the next few years, using the cellar and bottling facilities at Fairview .

In addition to developing their community financially, Fairvalley support training and other forms of activities that will uplift members of their community, particularly their youth . In March 2002 the first phase of the development of their farm was completed with great excitement as a number of member families took possession of their own homes. The association plans to establish vineyards on the property, build more homes, a cellar and a tasting room. In addition the association is looking at other entrepreneurial endeavors to generate profit from which to fund their dreams.
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Re: 2004 Fairvalley Pinotage South Africa.

Postby keith prothero » Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:01 pm

Bob, Not sure if you have been to Fairview,but recently Charles Back opened a restaurant there named Goatsherd. really excellent,and it is staffed by the Fairvalley Farmworkers when not working in their vineyard.
Charles Back should be commended for the work he is doing to encourage black empowerment,and hopefully Fairvalley wines will soon be as good as Fairviews.
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Re: 2004 Fairvalley Pinotage South Africa.

Postby Bob Ross » Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:07 pm

I haven't been there, Keith. We spent a three days in South Africa as part of a trip to Botswana's Delta. It sounds like that might have been an interesting side trip with more time.

Do you know what the distributor means by saying this wine is made in the "international style"? I hadn't seen that with respect to Pinotage before.

Regards, Bob
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Re: 2004 Fairvalley Pinotage South Africa.

Postby keith prothero » Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:32 pm

Bob--not really sure---I think I may leave that one to THE Pinotage expert Peter May.
This particular Pinotage I have not tasted and I must rely on Platter,which is not especially complimentary.Describes this vintage as tannic and astringent with lean fruit and less friendly than previous vintages.
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Re: 2004 Fairvalley Pinotage South Africa.

Postby Peter May » Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:43 pm

Bob Ross wrote:
Do you know what the distributor means by saying this wine is made in the "international style"? I hadn't seen that with respect to Pinotage before.


International style? I guess the distributer wants you to think fruit led and easy drinking, but I don't think is what is in this bottle.

I quite liked the FairValley Chenin Blanc, but I think they've quite a way to go on the Pinotage.

Your review is more favourable than Platter's "tannic, astringent, lean fruit."
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Re: 2004 Fairvalley Pinotage South Africa.

Postby Bob Ross » Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:50 pm

I see I misquoted, Peter -- "A lightly oaked wine, vibrant purple/red in color, layered with sweet plum and berry notes. Spicy black fruit and ripe soft tannins play out on the finish. Made in a bright, modern style."

Restating, what does he mean by "modern style". The distributor is actually quite interesting:

Vinnovative Imports was created in 1995 with the sole mission of re-introducing South African wines to U.S. consumers.

Founded by ex-pat South African, Peter Clinton, and his American partner Margaret Scott, the company is based in Charlotte , North Carolina . Peter had barely settled into his new life in the US when he began exploring career paths that would give him the opportunity to promote his native country. It was as a result of Peter's fiercely proud nationalism and their shared appreciation of wine that he and Margaret ventured into this business. Noticing the embarrassing selection of primarily export-only labels during a visit to the grocery store, and confirming this opinion by a random sampling of the available wines, Peter resolved to bring quality South African wines back into the US. Although wine has been made in South Africa 's Western Cape for over 300 years, re-introducing previously sanctioned wines here was more akin to marketing a newly discovered region.

Over the years the diverse portfolio has evolved to reflect many of the prominent growing regions of the Western Cape . Each estate or winery represented is selected based on discerning criteria:

• identifiable sense of style true to the region, and more specifically, to their vineyard location

• stylistically agreeable to the American consumers' palate

• owner is the winemaker or intrinsically involved in the winemaking process

• high quality and great value throughout the price spectrum

Vinnovative Imports is the sole US importer and has exclusive distribution rights for each of the wineries represented in its portfolio.

These wineries have received national recognition through publications including: The Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, International Wine Cellar, Wine & Spirits, Wine Enthusiast, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.
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Re: 2004 Fairvalley Pinotage South Africa.

Postby Bob Ross » Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:56 pm

We were tasting two different wines, Peter:

Platter: "tannic, astringent, lean fruit."

Ross:

There was just a bit of tannin, mostly in the finish and a bit in the back of the mouth.

The fruit was quite forward, moderately rich, and quite pleasant on the finish.

We may be using two different words to describe the "astringency" or the "high acidity". To me, in a red wine the two tastes are very similar, and a bit unpleasant. Certainly my example was unbalanced.

I would expect quite a bit of bottle variation in a new winery -- they've only produced two or three vintages of the Pinotage if memory serves.
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