Not for nothing is Pinot Noir known as the heartbreak grape. If the Rockview Ridge Pinot Noir from Shannon Vineyards in Elgin was overdone (too much heavy toast oak) four or five vintages ago, the team (James Downes in the vineyard and Gordon and Nadia Newton Johnson in the cellar) seem to have gone too far the other way with the 2013.
The wine was matured for 12 months in 228-litre barrels, 30% new, 40% second-fill and 30% third-fill and you cannot accuse of it of being oak-dominated. The nose shows red cherry, musk and just a hint of spice. On the palate, there’s generous fruit, plenty of pep and vigour and fine tannins, evidence of clever extraction. It’s undoubtedly carefully crafted but somehow lacks wow factor. Price: R250 a bottle.