De Wet Viljoen, cellarmaster of Neethlingshof in Stellenbosch, is also vice-chairman of the Pinotage Association, and as a result you can’t help scrutinising his take on the variety a little more closely.
The Owl Post Pinotage 2013 is part of Neethlingshof’s top-tier Short Story Collection with a cellar-door price of R180 a bottle.
On the nose, a floral top note before raspberry, red and black cherry as well as spice and, more disconcertingly, toasty oak (the wine was matured for 15 months in a combination of French and Hungarian oak, 80% new).
The palate is medium- to full-bodied with fresh acidity and fine tannins. The fruit really is lovely but there’s quite a lot of vanilla flavour too, and you have a sense that it would’ve been an even better wine with less oak influence.