On paper, a Pinotage Blanc is a pretty scary thought but Dustin Osborne, winemaker at Aaldering Vineyards & Wines in Stellenbosch, has defied the odds and produced a wine of real character. From drawn off juice and having spent seven months on the lees, the maiden vintage 2012 (R105 a bottle) is more about mouth-feel than any overt aromatics or flavours. There are hints of peach and apricot if you look hard enough but what is really striking is the thick texture combined with some appealing phenolic character which provides a sort of white pepper sensation. Not a million miles off Grenache Blanc. Score: 16/20.
Also new to the range is Lady M 2012, an unwooded Pinotage, the designation in honour of Marianne, wife of owner Fons Aaldering. “A problem if she leaves me as we’d have to change the name,” he says. The nose is slightly reductive but the palate shows clean dark cherry fruit, fresh acidity and plenty of grippy fruit tannin. Score: 15.5/20.