Tucked away in a small corner of our estate between an olive grove and a natural spring, our tiny Pinotage block is one of only a handful in the country, and arguably the finest. An unusual but inviting variety to have planted in New Zealand, Pinotage originated in South Africa as a hybrid of Pinot Noir and Cinsault (a variety from the south of France). We're one of few vineyards growing Pinotage seriously and we've earned a cult following. Our Pinotage is widely regarded as one of the best anywhere outside of South Africa, and our vintages always sell out quickly.
The vines are grown on their own roots for full, natural expression of the cool climate and limestone-clay soil. Spur-pruned for over 10 years, they produce small berries and bunches and we rarely have to fruit thin. The fruit ripens late in the season providing lush flavours and concentration suitable for extended barrel ageing.
- Planted: 1993
- Planting density: 1850 vines/ha
- Row spacing: 3m
- Vine spacing: 1.8m
- Avg yield: 3kg/vine
This is a wine that packs a punch with big colour and big flavour. Not for the faint-of-heart, it’s interesting and intense and we produce it only in exclusively small quantities. Bold fruit flavours are underpinned with a gamey savouriness, while the thick Pinotage skins give an intense, deep colour and structural tannin. Like our Pinot Noirs, this wine will age for many years.
We hand-pick very late in the season once the bunches have reached full flavour ripeness, and crush the fruit to release the juice into one small open top fermenter. We let wild fermentation occur naturally and hand plunge to assist yeast health and extract tannin and flavour, then let it integrate in French oak barrels before bottling unadulterated by fining or filtration.
The cool dry 2012 season gave us naturally low yields and bunches with dark fruit and robust tannin.
Fruit ripened very slowly and was eventually picked in the middle of May.
Our 2012 Pinotage has an intense and heady nose of black plum, crushed blackberry and dark peach.
The palate is incredibly vibrant, showing dark and red currant and berry characters supported by buoyant tannins and a dense texture, lending itself as a great match for rich red meat dishes. Benefits from decanting before drinking.
- Harvested: 10 May 2012
- Cellaring: 2014 - 2022
In 2009 the quality of our Pinotage surprised us – so did the alcohol level at 15.3%! In 2001 we aimed for a lower alcohol and produced a lesser wine which we declassified to the Laborare (not a bad drop, though). We feel the following vintages have been back on track – rich and ripe and complex it shows that New Zealand is the true home of Pinotage.
- Harvested: 16 April 2009
- Cellaring: --