Those luckily enough to have tasted Pinotage from the 1970s will know that the variety is capable of very good, even great wine. However, in the modern era, it has gone through ups and downs, or rather downs and ups, wines from the mid-1990s very much more clumsy and rustic than they are now, local winemakers having had to do a radical re-think on how to get the best out of the variety.
Case in point: Kaapzicht Steytler 1998, a wine good enough to win the title of Wine magazine’s Pinotage Champion of the Year in 2000. Drinking it now, it showed a pronounced Marmite quality on the nose, while the palate had both good points and bad, dense black fruit as well as pronounced but appropriate wood-derived chocolate flavour in the wine’s favour, hard acidity which smacked of added tartaric counting against it. Get your hands on the 2007 vintage of the same wine and you can be sure of a much more sophisticated experience.