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« Dear Little Vodka | Main | Jolie Holland: Phonograph Folk »

07 October 2004

Cinsault x Pinot Noir = Pinotage

Pinotage is South Africa's claim to wine-fame.  The Pinotage Association of South Africa describe the creation of this grape in an oddly romantic way:

Abepinotage
"We know what Abraham Izak Perold did. He physically brushed a male Hermitage (Cinsaut) flower against a pollen donor Pinot Noir (also described as the Prince of
French varietals.)"

Just a little flower & pollen brushing and voila!  Pinotage.

Unfortunately Pinotage hasn't lived up to the noble status of its Pinot Noir parent.  Wine drinkers and critics alike use terms like 'rustic,' 'diesel,' 'ashtray' and 'acquired taste' to describe wines made from Pinotage.

Some Pinotage wines deserve these descriptors.  Others, like Fairview's Pinotage deserve your attention.

Fairview_pinotage

The Skinny
Fairview Pinotage, '02 ($12)
Deep inky indigo in color
Fairly restrained scents of dark berries, cedar and a little smoke
In the mouth it's medium-bodied, with noticeable tannin and surprisingly fruity flavors
*** (3 stars out of 5)

Try it with grilled porterhouse steak, portobella mushrooms and smashed potatoes

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