The former Stellenbosch Farmers’ Winery purchased the Lanzerac trademark in 1958, taking over the management of Lanzerac’s vineyards the same year. The company would be the first to use the name Pinotage on a wine label when they marketed the 1959 vintage under the name Lanzerac in 1961 and that wine plus subsequent releases from the 1960s are the stuff of legend.
Today Lanzerac acknowledges that heritage by making a deluxe version of the variety, the Pioneer 2015 recently released at R850 a bottle. Grapes from a 19-year-old single vineyard, situated 400 meters above sea level in the Jonkershoek Valley, maturation lasted 18 months in new and 2nd fill French oak barrels,
The nose displays cherries, plums, vanilla and spice plus a hint of earthiness while the palate is full bodied but balanced – concentrated fruit and fresh acidity before a long and very dry finish. The temptation must have been to make a flashy wine but this is classically styled and well-proportioned and it should mature well for years to come.
Editor’s rating: 93/100.
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