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South Africa's Top 10 Pinotage Wines 2019

The wine experts have spoken, naming the top 10 Pinotage wines in South Africa for 2019. Take one of these libations along to your next dinner party. 

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Top 10 Pinotage | House and Leisure

Organised by the Pinotage Association, the Absa Top 10 Pinotage aims to promote and highlight the uniqueness of Pinotage wines made in South Africa. Ten  top Pinotages are chosen each year that serve as a benchmark for the development of the distinctly South African Pinotage wine. 

With over 161 entires made into the competition and judging being done by a panel of respected experts in the sector, it is most definitely a prestigious achievement in the wine industry to be named as part of the Top 10 Pinotage list. 

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Top 10 Pinotage: The List

Anura Pinotage Reserve 2016

The grapes of the Anura Pinotage Reserve 2016 were handpicked in February of 2016, having been grown along a north-facing slope due to the quality of soil located in the area of the estate. 

Wine origin: Simonsberg-Paarl

Winemaker: Stander Maas 

Tasting: Some of the main featuring tasting notes include lush and juicy fruit (think black and red berries) with an undertone of cinnamon. 

Food pairings: This velvety wine is best served with hearty tomato based dishes, stews, mature chesses and sweet preserves. 

Cost: R179 from orderwine.co.za.

Badsberg Pinotage 2018 

With the grapes of the Badsberg Pinotage 2018 having been picked in mid-Febraury, this wine offers an aroma of blackberry and casis along with hints of a banna aroma. 

Wine origin: Breedekloof 

Winemakers: Henri Swiegers, Willie Burger and Jaco Booysen

Tasting: On the palate this Pinotage provides tastes of ripe plum. 

Food pairings: Badberg Pinotage pairs well with red meat dishes such as steak and oxtail. 

Cost: About R100 per bottle at selected retailers.

Beyerskloof Winemaker's Reserve Pinotage 2017 

As part of Beyerskloof's Reserve range, the Pinotage 2017 is a demonstration of the estate's prodigious winemaking ability and has concentrated flavours with a smooth character. A range of blackberry aromas can be detected when savouring the wine. 

Wine origin: Stellenbosch 

Winemaker: Anri Truter

Tasting: Blackberry and prune flavours can be tasted when the wine hits the palate, as well as cedar oak aromas.

Food pairings: The Beyerskloof Winemaker's Reserve Pinotage 2017 pairs well with spicy curries or a tradtional Bobotie dish. 

Cost: The wine retails at R165 per bottle and is available at  Beyerskloof wine estate 

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Diemersdal Pinotage Reserve 2018

The grapes used to make the Diemersdal Pinotage Reserve 2018 are sourced from 43-year-old bush wines and 23-year-old trellised vines. 

Wine origin: Durbanville

Winemaker: Thys Louw

Tasting: This is a full-bodied wine, with dark berry and plum flavours that are well balanced with complex aromas from French Oak barrels. 

Food pairings: Best paired with a rack of lamb or hearty beef stew, this bold Pinotage will enhance the flavours of a wholesome dish. 

Cost: R160 per bottle from the Diemersdal estate website.

Fleur du Cap Series Privée Pinotage 2016

With an abundance of red fruit including strawberry and cherry, and hints of sweet oak spice on the nose, the Fleur du Cap Series Privée Pinotage from 2016 is a flavour-filled wine. 

Wine origin: Stellensboch Kloof, Bottelary Hills and Agter Paarl

Winemaker: Pieter Badenhorst

Tasting: A range of red fruit including strawberry and cherry. 

Food pairings: At its best with Mediterranean and spicy Moroccan dishes.

Cost: R180 per bottle from Vinoteque.

Kanonkop Pinotage 2015

Although this wine is sold out from the Kanonkop cellar, the Pinotage 2015 was filled with a deep layer of flavour and will continue to develop over time, maturing in bold flavours.

Wine origin: Simonsberg-Stellenbosch

Winemaker: Abrie Beeslaar

Tasting: When savouring this wine, strong notes of deep red plum can be tasted throughout, accompanied by notes of red berries, dark chocolate, vanilla and aromatic sweet spices.

Food pairings: This wine is best paired with spicy Asian dishes when young and when matured, it will pair very well with lamb or mutton dishes.

Cost: Due to high demand, the Kanonkop Pinotage 2015 is no longer available.

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Survivor Pinotage 2017

Created from 100% Swartland Pinotage grapes, the Survivor Pinotage is part of the Swartland range, with grapes harvested during Feburary.

Wine origin: Swartland 

Winemaker: Ben Synman

Tasting: Filled with rich and hearty flavours of ripe prune, plum and juicy cherries with notes of spice and cedar. 

Food pairings: Best paired with sweet barbecue ribs, roast chicken, gouda cheese or boerewors and steak. 

Cost: A case of six bottles can be purhcased from R1050 from Overhex. 

Simonsig Redhill Pinotage 2017

The Simonsig Redhill Pinotage 2017 is a full-bodied, mature Pinotage made from grapes sourced from a specific vineyard site on the Simonsig estate.  

Wine origin:  Stellenbosch

Winemaker: Debbie Thompson

Tasting: Fruit flavours can be savoured in this Pinotage, including black cherries, red berries and cassis, as well as underlying tastes of vanilla pod and toasted oak. 

Food pairings: Savour the deep fruity flavours with a dish of seared tuna, oven-roasted rack of lamb, stuffed aubergines or a bobotie. 

Cost: R375 per bottle from the Simonsig website. 

Vondeling Bowwood Pinotage 2016

Made from grapes sourced from a small vineyard and planted in clay-rich gravel soil, where the vines are packed with tiny grapes filled with a concentrated flavour. These Vondeling Bowwood Pinotage 2016 grapes are handpicked, then go through a unique process, as the berries are not crushed before fermentation. 

Wine origin: Voor Paardeberg

Winemaker: Matthew Copeland

Tasting: Flavours tasted include a range of bold fruit with slight spice aromatics, and undertones of roasted almonds and trimmed cigar. This is a luxruious and full flavoured wine. 

Food pairings: Pair with traditional South African dishes such as potjiekos, braai meats and biltong.

Cost: R370 per bottle from Vondeling estate.

Wildekrans Pinotage Barrel Select Reserve 2016

The Wildekrans Pinotage Barrel Select Reserve 2016 is rich and concentrated, with flavours of red berries, hits of dark chocolate and a light nutty taste. Savouring this wine, you will notice lively tannins with an earthy minerality. 

Wine origin: Botrivier

Winemaker: Braam Gericke

Tasting: A full bouquet of white jasmine, blackberry and soft spices with a slight hint of fynbos, cedar, vanilla and oak, along with complex notes of baking spice.

Food pairing:  When served with dishes that include seared tuna, gamefish, guineafowl, duck or Italian Bean Cassoulet, the wine's rich flavours are enhanced. 

Cost: Pricing is available upon request.

And... we could not help but add an additional wine to this prestigious list of pinotages, as it's currently one of our favourites: 

Diemersfontein The Prodigy 2018 Pinotage 

Heralded for its coffee-chocolate note Pinotage, Diemersfontein Wine & Country Estate now has a new release: The Prodigy. A new Pinotage in their range, the Prodigy 2018 is a lighter and fruit-driven wine that can be enjoyed every day.

Tasting: As a light Pinotage, there are hints of dark red fruit including mulberries and blackberries on the nose. Tasting notes include strawberries, cherries and plum. 

Food pairing: Best paired with hearty South African staples including bunny chows, bobotie and braai meats. It is also well paired with roast duck, lamb casserole and even chocolate soufflé.

Cost: R75 per bottle from the estate.

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