Fram Pinotage 2013

February 10, 2015
by Christian Eedes
in What I Drank Last Night
with 5 Comments
Probably not the dawn of a new era.

Probably not the dawn of a new era.

I imagine Fram Pinotage made from Citrusdal Mountain grapes by Thinus Krüger has acquired instant cult status after Jancis Robinson MW made it her “wine of the week” towards the end of January with a score of 17/20.

Her tasting note read as follows: “Full, rich and round. Super charm on the nose and lots of both structure and fruit. Dry finish and well-managed oak. Appetising. Very spicy. Good balance. No Pinotage negatives. There’s a real future to this wine.”

Interestingly, when Christine Rudman and Cathy van Zyl came to review it for the current edition of Platter’s, it got a rating of 3½ Stars, their tasting note reading like this: “Dark and brooding, meaty and savoury with some plum undertones. Quite tanninc, needs time to soften, meld; could show better over time and then reward handsomely.”

I haven’t tasted the 2012 but did manage to get my hands on the 2013 (Wine Cellar price: R170). My tasting note as follows: “Red and black cherry, earth and spice. Rich but balanced – sweet fruited and smooth textured with moderate acidity. Nice enough but a pretty standard example of the variety” and gave it a score of 89/100.

All of this poses some questions: How many examples of Pinotage was Ms Robinson exposed to? Did she taste the likes of Longridge 2012, Radford Dale Frankenstein 2013 and Spioenkop 1900 2013?

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  1. FramJuly 13, 2016 at 10:50 amReply

    Have to agree with Boris this wine is outstanding and certainly worth more than 3.5 stars.

    Higgo has it in his top 10 list of pinnotages in SA.

  2. KwispedoorFebruary 12, 2015 at 6:35 pmReply

    Really cool label, by the way.

  3. Boris PeterFebruary 10, 2015 at 10:00 pmReply

    I am sure the Fram Pinotage 2013 will show much better in a couple of months – it was only bottled in October 2014.
    The 2012 vintage is a stunning wine and I think it is worth much more than 3.5 Stars…

  4. Shane GordonFebruary 10, 2015 at 9:00 pmReply

    I find the comments on this wine unsurprising. I am a great lover of wines from my homeland & birthplace, South Africa. Having lived almost as long in the UK as I lived in Cape Town I think from my own experience the difference of opinion is based on exposure to Northern hemisphere wines. I am not referring to the odd tasting of examples of “overseas wine” but the constant tasting of these wine styles interspersed with new world wines. From experience I can say that one’s tastes adapt to what one is used to tasting after some considerable exposure. I am sure JR’s critique on the Fram pinotage is unaffected by others. She has far too much tasting experience to be influenced in this way and she trades on her impeccable reputation. I have recently returned from my annual month’s holiday in Cape Town and tasted many wines whilst there and found my tastes and scores rarely in union with the Platter ratings. Savoury and saline with linear layered flavour profiles and balance which overrode alcohol burn being qualities I rated most highly but which were not the norm.

  5. KwispedoorFebruary 10, 2015 at 9:13 amReply

    Not even Jancis is immune to tasting circumstances. We’re all just human. She tasted the wines in its remote place of origin, after the latter was talked up by Eben Sadie, Tim James and Rosa Kruger on the drive over there. One might have scored a glass of seawater 17 in such circumstances.

    Then again, tastes differ and the wine is still young – perhaps it manifests differently in the bottle during its infantile period in the bottle. Either way, it’s exciting that Pinotage is made from old vineyards in this remote location and I have two bottles of this en route to me as we speak.

    There’s no way I’ll broach one of them for a few years yet, though. It’ll be much preferable if Joe Public has some opportunities to taste the stuff before having to buy it.

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