Monday, June 7, 2010


Ernst & Co. Pinotage

Trying different grape varieties is important to me.  I never understood the concept of buying the same wine over and over.  That sort of comfort level offers me little comfort.  Think of all the wines you're missing that way!  Sure, when you try a different wine every time, there will be some disappointments.  But I love sampling all the flavors so much I don't think I could settle on just one.  Even the disappointments have something to offer.

I hardly ever drink South African wines, but this one caught my eye because I had made a mental note some time ago to get a Pinotage.  My knowledge of the South African wine regions is quite sketchy, but some research has led me to learn that Ernst & Company Wine Farm is on the Stellenbosch wine route in the Muldersvlei area.  This is about 40 km from Cape Town.  The Pinotage grape is a cross of Pinot Noir and Cinsault, which is known as Hermitage in South Africa, hence the mashup moniker "Pinotage."

The wine has a very dark and inky appearance.  On the nose, blackberries and currants hit me with a faint overlay of alcohol.  I do know that some complain of a chemical odor in Pinotage, but it doesn't bother me.  On the Palate, it's very dark and dense.  A dry wine, this Pinotage is grippy with big tannins in the forefront.  The Ernst & Company Pinotage has a fruity taste, but in a strange way.  It's quite a dark and mysterious fruit, with licorice, too. 

I don't think Pinotage is a grape for everybody, but if you enjoy really strong coffee, it may be for you.  I find it fascinating and I will definitely seek out another version of it.  It might be a while before I do, though.  There are sooo many other grapes out there waiting.

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