Sunday, November 1, 2009

****+ $ Nederburg Pinotage, 2007, Western Cape, South Africa - Wine Review and Rating

By way of background: Nederburg Pinotage is a highly-regarded, bargain-priced pinotage from the Western Cape area of South Africa. Winemaking was said to have begun in the farming tracts here as early as 1937. Pinotage, a cross between pinot noir and cinsaut (also called hermitage) is a popular single-varietal in South Africa. The 2007 version of this pinotage is finished at 13.5% alcohol.

In the glass: Nederburg Pinotage is a medium deep velvet red in the glass, never quite moving to opaque even in the middle of the glass. It is a quite becoming color overall, however.

On the nose: Rich, thick aromas of deep fruit, ripe plantain and oak. Yummy.

On the palate: A solid, charred and rich middle hits first. Charcoal-broiled bananas? Following that, a lightly sweet, still rich dark cherry flavor creeps up the sides of your cheeks. There it invades your upper cheek crevices, bringing lots of oak, slick banana inner-peel, and dark red fruits.

And the finish: The finish for Nederburg Pinotage wraps around its tannins, tightening and releasing flavors for the better part of a minute after you've finished the sip. No cloying elements to the finish... just a vanishing reminder of the same elements you've just enjoyed. A little touch of banana inner-peel remains after all else has faded. Fascinating.

In summary: A pleasant, deep, layered, sophisticated experience. I'd completely stay with it for an evening. Four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for deftly combining pleasure and complexity. Awesome, jaw-dropping value at its bargain price.

Find Nederburg Pinotage at WineZap.

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