Thursday, June 7, 2012

Review: ***+ $$ Granite Ridge Pinotage, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2011 = BEST VALUE

By way of background, opening thoughts: Pinotage is a grape varietal that is most closely associated with South Africa.  Today we are sampling a pinotage from the highly-regarded Stellenbosch region of South Africa, courtesy of importer Barclay's Wine , which provided the review sample.

Original tasting and review : This is Granite Ridge Pinotage, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2011, finished at 13.5% alcohol.

In the glass: Deep bloody magenta, opaque from about a half inch from the edge.

On the nose: Poured cool and swirled vigorously, shows beefy, deep, smoky, oaky black fruit on the nose.  From the aroma, seems like this will be black and juicy with good depth.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact a charred sweet black fruit with hints of grilled banana.  Quite tasty and lush, while remaining dark and primitive.  Aromatics build in the finish, which is gritty and clean. Shows coffee and dark cocoa powder in the finish too.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for not being afraid to show the roots of its origin.  This becomes a best value based on its rating to price relationship.

Following long decant, two days kept cool in partially-filled bottle:    Fruitier, almost candy-apple plum on the nose.  The charred elements have settled into the fruit, bringing a more integrated combination.  Intense and balanced.

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