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Blind tasting of Absa Top 10 Pinotage 2018 finalists

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Pinotage fans are no doubt in a state of suspense with results of the 22nd Absa Top 10 Pinotage competition will be announced later today. Award ceremonies and the hobnobbing that comes with them are not always the ideal scenario to take a view on the state of the category so it’s to the Pinotage Association’s credit that if facilitated a blind tasting of the best 20 wines overall for a small group of media and trade earlier this month. My tasting notes and ratings as follows:

Môreson The Widow Maker 2015
Boom!

95
Môreson The Widow Maker 2015
Matured for 18 months, 40% new oak. Pink sweets, fynbos plus red and black fruit on the nose. Full but balanced – good fruit concentration, fresh acidity and lovely tannin structure. Alc: 15.14%.

94
Flagstone Writer’s Block 2016
Matured for 16 months in 80% American, 10% French and 10% Hungarian oak, 25% new. The nose shows musk-like perfume, red and black cherries plus attractive oak. Excellent fruit expression, fresh acidity and firm but fine tannins. Balanced and long. Alc: 14.69%.

93
Kaapzicht 2016
Matured for 18 months in French oak, 33% new. A top note of potpourri before red cherry, cranberry and spice.  Medium  bodied with fresh acidity and fine tannins. Lovely balance and length. Alc: 14.8%.

Kanonkop 2015
Matured for 18 months in French oak, 75% new. A hint of reduction before red and black fruit plus attractive oak. Full but balanced – dense fruit, bright acidity and nice tannic grip. Very well judged. Alc: 14.76%.

Lanzerac Pionier 2015
Matured for 21 months in a combination of new and second-fill French oak. A pretty nose with top notes of flowers and fynbos before red cherry and spice. Relatively medium bodied with pure fruit, zippy acidity and fine tannins, the finish long and savoury. Alc: 14.22%.

92
Diemersdal 2015
Kanonkop 2013
Wellington Wines Duke of Wellington 2017

91
Lyngrove Platinum 2016

90
Diemersdal Reserve 2017
Fairview Primo 2016
KWV The Mentors 2016

89
Badsberg 2017
Beyerskloof Diesel 2015
Meerendal Heritage Block Single Vineyard 2016

88
Allée Bleue Black Series Old Vine 2016
Kaapzicht Steytler 2015
Môreson The Widow Maker 2016
Rijk’s Reserve 2014

87
Alvi’s Drift Reserve Verreaux 2015

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