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Southern Right Pinotage 2013

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Thar she blows!
Thar she blows!

It’s curious how the Pinotage debate has gone cold. It used to elicit impassioned arguments for and against but now it only gets referenced incidentally. I think that’s partly because the realisation has dawned that it’s not the single solution to all South Africa’s wine marketing problems and partly because advances in winemaking technique have ensured that it’s not nearly as weird as it used to be.

The 2013 from the Southern Right vineyards in Hemel-en-Aarde Valley co-owned by the always wily Anthony Hamilton Russell is particularly cleverly styled. Black cherry, a touch of spice and toasty oak on the nose. Sweet fruited with properly ripe tannins on the palate. Good concentration, moderate acidity and a gently savoury finish. “Tiny splashes of Malbec, Shiraz and Petit Verdot” according to Platter’s 2015. Approximate retail price: R165 a bottle.

Score: 88/100.

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