Let’s chat about my fave from Friday’s Constantia Wine Mixer tasting event...held The Range in erm Constantia. Notably, this was meant to be a celebration of rosé...guess who walked away with an armful of reds! Blame the rainy weather.
This producer wasn’t on the original lineup, so I was pleasantly surprised to see Jacques and his wines - Radford Dale’s Thirst range and his personal project Reverie. And this Reverie Pinotage had me returning to his table time and time again. I’m convinced the man thought I was just there to get my money’s worth of wine. Not so, it just blew me away and I couldn’t bring myself to go back for seconds of any of the other wines available.
This is one of those colours I’d stubbornly argue against WSET. They’d call it pale ruby - I’d call it pale garnet if I had to stick to their lexicon. Let’s compromise on a slightly orangey crimson.
You need a moment to acclimatise to the initial farmyard waft. But this soon blows off and gives way to herbaceous fynbos, red cherries, strawberries, pomegranate, tomato leaf, grapefruit pith and (I’m sorry Jacques) a whisper of banana.
Pronounced flavours of instant and addictive oolong tea leaves, cherries, cooked and fresh strawberries, cherries, dried herbs (parsley, chewed pine needles, cardamom), pomegranate and crushed pomegranate seeds. Those seeds add to the delicious tea tannins that I just adore. Dry, medium high acidity and medium bodied. I’ve fallen for the unsettling bitterness on the palate - it might be contentious for some, but I’m here for it.
A satisfying long finish that leaves the tannins buzzing around your mouth, and that has you eager to take another sip.
Balance (1) + Length (1) + Intensity (1) + Complexity (½) = A very good wine
Drink now, but I’m curious to see how this lighter styled carbonic Pinotage could evolve over a few years.
Viti and Vini:
It’s another great example of a light styled Pinotage. I’d bet money on you never calling this blind. You’d want to head for Beaujolais...you’d try and call this a Pinot. It’s certainly more Pinot than Cinsault. A large part of this is, no doubt, derived from the carbonic maceration. From a dry farmed single vineyard planted in 1999 in Voor Paardeberg. The grapes are handpicked early for acidity, carbonic...loud music and a sudden bustle at the tasting table had me lost for the next part. Foot stomped is where my hearing returned. Basket pressed, 10 months in used oak. Hustle bustle no malolactic? Light filtering before bottling. You’ll be amused at the 12% abv.
This is a bit of a signature style for Mr de Klerk. His day job is winemaker at Radford Dale - where he makes a similarly styled Pinotage for their Winery of Good Hope wines. Reverie is his side project. God bless side projects!