Towards the end of last year, Jacques de Klerk of The Winery of Good Hope showed me the 2016 vintage of the top-end Radford Dale Frankenstein Pinotage prior to release and my reaction was that this was one of the most exciting new-wave examples of the variety yet – vital and exhilarating to drink (see here).
Somehow I hadn’t tasted the preceding 2015 vintage and De Klerk dispatched a sample. Grapes from a Helderberg vineyard planted in 1990, 50% whole-bunch fermentation, only large format barrels used for maturation.
A heady nose of red and black cherry, flowers, musk, earth and spice. The palate, meanwhile, displays great fruit concentration, zesty acidity and just the right amount of tannic tug on the finish. It’s a sophisticated and accomplished take on the variety but I think the 2016 (which has an alcohol of 12.5% as opposed to the 2015’s 13.5%) shades it.
Editor’s rating: 93/100.
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