Writing about orange wines (defined as “white wines made with sometimes extensive skin contact”) in his column today for Decanter.com, Andrew Jefford poses the question “Can you… trace varieties and origin in a set of well-made orange wines as you can in conventionally crafted whites?”
There aren’t many local examples about but the Pinot Blanc 2012 made under his own Elemental Bob label by Spookfontein winemaker Craig Sheard surely qualifies.
Grapes come from the De Bos vineyard garden founded by Bosman Family Vineyards in the Upper Hemel en Aarde Valley and the wine spent 10 days on the skins, a “minute amount” of sulphur added just before bottling.
It has an inevitable cidery quality about it but also marmalade and a slight nuttiness – very flavourful with long, saline finish. Nicely textured with bright acidity lending balance. It’s highly unlikely you’d guess that it was made from Pinot Blanc but I’m not sure that this matters. Total production: 400 bottles. Price per bottle: R85.