False Bay Pinotage 2011

Spice, banana with a touch of oak. As elegant as Pinotage can be. Juicy fruit on palate with fine, soft tannins tempered by ageing the wine in big oak vats. Easy drinking style, nicely balanced by the savoury finish. Compliments Cape Malay dishes and beef casserole.

Complements Cape Malay dishes and beef casserole.

variety : Pinotage | 100% Pinotage
winery : Waterkloof
winemaker : Werner Engelbrecht
wine of origin : Stellenbosch
analysis : alc : 14.0 % vol  rs : 2.6 g/l  pH : 3.27  ta : 4.5 g/l  
type : Red  style : Dry  
pack : Bottle  closure : Cork  

in the vineyard : Extensive experience in working with the Pinotage grape, provided us with the knowledge to bring out the best in the varietal by working with low yielding, old, untrellised bush vines. This approach seems to change a grape that is more beast than beauty into something special. We know that Pinotage will never be a sleek sauve international red, but it allows us to get that very authentic flavour that smacks of the earth, from grapes that will deliver that taste to you in the way that no other will. Those stunted plantings that look like twisted bonsai proved to have the stuff of greatness- fruit so dense that it needs the tough love of open top fermenters to dispel the volatile esters. Since there is no old-world style to emulate, our journey with Pinotage has very much been an adventure.

Although we are aware of the fact that Pinotage seems to do equally well in cooler areas, our own experience has been more positive, working in the warmer areas of the Coastal Region. We have identified a few 30 year and older blocks of unirrigated bush vine in the Paarl region for our False Bay Pinotage. What attracted us to these vineyards were the very small berries with a great degree of concentration.

THE 2010/2011 GROWING SEASON
A year characterized by huge climatic differences which resulted in a small crop with lots of concentration. Low winter rains and a very dry summer played a major part in the smaller crop. The start of the growing season was cool with lots of wind, which led to uneven flowering. Windy conditions prevailed until mid-February and were particularly strong during December. Harvest started 6 – 10 days earlier than normal due to the dry, windy conditions. The harvest period was also very compact due to the dry conditions and small crop.

in the cellar : As with all the reds in the False Bay Range, native or wild yeasts were allowed to complete the fermentation process. The grapes were harvested at 24 Balling. After de-stemming, berries were fermented in stainless steel tanks. With the onset of fermentation, we racked all the juice from the skins once a day. It was then pumped back over the skins after an hour. This was combined with a pump-over once a day until fermentation was complete. Fermentation took place at temperatures of 26 to 30°C at the height of fermentation. The wine was drained from the skins after fermentation had completed. No press juice was added to the wine. The wine was then aged in large oak vats for 8 months, which tempered the Pinotage tannins and added more complexity.

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