Prescient Pinotage Report 2020: Top 10

By , 18 August 2020

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Introduction

This year’s Pinotage Report convened by Winemag.co.za and sponsored by multinational financial services company Prescient is now out. There were 57 entries from 33 producers and these were tasted blind (labels out of sight) by a three-person panel, scoring done according to the 100-point quality scale.

Top 10

The 10 best wines overall are as follows:

B Vintners Liberté 2018
Price: R300
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 13.5%

Beyerskloof Diesel 2018
Price: R850
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 15%

De Grendel Amandelboord 2018
Price: R220
Wine of Origin: Durbanville
Abv: 14.33%

Kaapzicht Steytler 2018
Price: R550
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 14.57%

La Cave 2018 (Wellington Wines)
Price: R200
Wine of Origin: Wellington
Abv: 14.5%

L’Avenir Provenance 2017
Price: R165
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 14.5%

Lievland Bushvine 2018
Price: R150
Wine of Origin: Paarl
Abv: 13.5%

MAN Family Wines Bosstok 2018
Price: R75
Wine of Origin: Coastal Region
Abv: 13.5%

Môreson The Widow Maker 2018
Price: R280
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 14.99%

Painted Wolf Guillermo 2019
Price: R230
Wine of Origin: Swartland
Abv: 14.77%

Beyerskloof, Stellenbosch.

About the category

Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault (also called Hermitage, hence the contraction), was first engineered by Stellenbosch University’s Professor Abraham Perold in 1925. The first commercial bottling was released in 1961, namely the SFW’s 1959 Lanzerac Pinotage.

Today, Pinotage is the seventh most widely planted variety in South Africa, making up 7.2% of the total area under vineyard at the end of 2019.

What does top Pinotage go for?

Average cellar-door price of the Top 10 is R302 a bottle with MAN Family Wines Bosstok 2018 being the most affordable at R75 a bottle.

In-depth analysis

To read the report in full, including key findings, tasting notes for the top wines, buyers guide and scores on the 100-point quality scale for all wines entered, download the following: Prescient Pinotage Report 2020

Shop online

Johannesburg boutique wine retailer Dry Dock Liquor is offering all wines in the top 10 for sale – buy now.

Video

Comments

14 comment(s)

  • Robert Dumile Badela23 August 2020

    Just want to know more about SA wine industry.
    We run a restuarant Just Badela Food & Wine Soweto and a crazy bunch of wine lovers; jazz fanatics and golfers who come together and drink wine every Wednesdays. I would like to be part of SA Wine journey.

  • Gareth19 August 2020

    What I really like about this report, more so than the others posted this year, is that a large number of the Pinotage ‘big guns’ were entered. In fact I can only think of 3 top producers in the Pinotage space that are missing, which means this report really does serve as a representative sample of what is being offered.

  • Kwispedoor18 August 2020

    Hi, Christian

    I thought it’s interesting how quite a few 2018’s outperformed the much vaunted 2017’s in cases where a producer entered both vintages. I actually haven’t tasted any Bellevue Pinotage for some years, but I recall that they were often fairly good (and of course they have one of the oldest Pinotage vineyards there). What is it that the judges didn’t like about them?

    • Kevin R18 August 2020

      @Kwispedoor
      Not answering for Christian, but on the topic of Pinotage vintages, I normally find Pinotage is better grouped with white wines than reds in terms of vintage generalisations (your thoughts?)
      2006, 2014 were great for it and whites IMO, in general loving a wet preceding winter. Worse white vintages normally also weaker Pinotage too (not sure if you’d agree?)
      2017 doesn’t really fit into this theory though as the vines put their last breath into great whites and reds – a phenomenon

      • Christian Eedes18 August 2020

        @Kevin R As for why the 2018s showed so well relative to the 2017s in this tasting, I think the short answer is that the 2018 made for “lighter” wines and when you’re trying to rein in the variety’s inherent rusticity, this is not necessarily a bad thing…

      • Kwispedoor18 August 2020

        @ Kevin R, I suppose what you say makes sense because Pinotage is an early ripener, so vintage quality would conform more to most white cultivars than, say, Cabernet Sauvignon which ripens much later. But I can’t say that I’ve personally noticed a really significant alignment of Pinotage with whites, as opposed to reds. For that matter, I think good vintages (like 2003, 2009, 2015, 2017) were generally good for both reds and whites, while poor vintages (like 2002, 2008, 2016) were also generally poor for reds and whites. Even so, vintage conditions are mostly managed well by good winemakers in our different climates here in the African sun and I suppose the difference between the wines from a good vintage and those from a poor vintage is not that crazy – the producer is more important to me.

    • Christian Eedes18 August 2020

      The relatively poor showing of the Bellevue wines is obviously a concern and also a bit confusing after the The Reserve Collection 2018 placed in the Cabernet Sauvignon Top 10.

      In the case of The Reserve Collection 2016, which rated 73/100, the panel felt that the wine was oxidised (both bottles tasted).

      As for the Reserve Collection 2017 (88/100) and “1953” 2017 (86/100), there weren’t any technical faults and it was rather a matter of the panel not appreciating the flavour profile. Panel comments as follows:

      Bellevue The Reserve Collection 2017: Minty, medicinal, very savoury and austere.
      Bellevue 1953 2017: Overdone. Reduction and overt oak on the nose, the palate lacking purity and appearing astringent.

  • Erwin Lingenfelder18 August 2020

    Brilliant to see a R75 specimen sneak in! I guess it isn’t possible to see the full list of entrants?

  • Hennie C18 August 2020

    Let’s talk about De Grendel for a moment. Charles and Elzette have been seriously rocking your reports! With the exception of the MCC report, they’ve been getting top 10’s for every single one they’ve entered – is there any other producer that has that kind of a hit rate in your reports Christian?

    • Christian Eedes18 August 2020

      Hi Hennie, Tokara not far behind – top 10 in the Cab, Cape Bordeaux and Shiraz Reports… As for De Grendel, Hopkins is a bit of an unsung hero and it’s nice to see him and the team featuring so regularly.

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