Prescient Pinotage Report 2021: Top 10

By , 1 June 2021

Comment

7

Introduction

This year’s Pinotage Report sponsored by multinational financial services company Prescient is now out. There were 58 entries received from 46 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:

94

De Grendel Amandelboord 2019
Price: R235
Wine of Origin: Durbanville
Abv: 15.1%

94

Môreson The Widow Maker 2019
Price: R300
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 14.48%

92

Bellevue The Reserve Collection 2017
Price: R220
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 13.93%

92

B Vintners Liberté 2019
Price: R315
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 13.5%

92 – Best Buy

Du Toitskloof 2018
Price: R75
Wine of Origin: Western Cape
Abv: 14.8%

92

Francois Van Niekerk 2019
Price: R500
Wine of Origin: Coastal Region
Abv: 14.5%

92

Windmeul Reserve 2017
Price: R150
Wine of Origin: Coastal Region
Abv: 14.66%

91

Nederburg 2019
Price: R98
Wine of Origin: Western Cape
Abv: 14.54%

91

Simonsig Redhill 2018
Price: R410
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 14.63%

90

L’Avenir Provenance 2018
Price: R180
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 14.44%

De Grendel, Durbanville.

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.

Pinotage is the sixth most widely planted variety in South Africa, making up 7.2% of the total area under vineyard at the end of 2020.

What does top Pinotage go for?

The average price of the 23 wines to rate 90-plus is R266 a bottle and of the Top 10 is R249. Offering the best quality relative to price is Du Toitskloof 2018 with a rating of 92 and selling for R75 a bottle.

Discovery of Report

The “Discovery of Report” serves to recognise previously unsung wines.

Francois Van Niekerk 2019

Francois van Niekerk studied viticulture and oenology at Elsenburg before working harvests in California and Bordeaux. He started his career at Windmeul in Paarl and has been cellarmaster at Wellington Wines since 2014. This is the maiden release of his own label, grapes sourced from two old dryland vineyards, one in Paarl and the other in Wellington.

In-depth analysis

To read the report in full, including key findings, tasting notes for the top wines and scores on the 100-point quality scale for all wines entered, download the following: Prescient Pinotage Report 2021

Shop online

Johannesburg boutique wine retailer Dry Dock Liquor is offering some of the wines in the Top 10 for sale and can deliver nationwide – buy now.

Online retailer Wine-of-the-Month Club is offering a six-bottle mixed case selected from the Top 10 – buy now.

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Comments

7 comment(s)

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  • Douglas Green1 June 2021

    Ed do you have a supplier in the UK ?

  • Jacob van Rensburg1 June 2021

    There are no great vintages, only great bottles! And the other way around, I suppose.

    I find blind tastings often through out very peculiar results. In this case, I want to highlight the result of Delheim’s Vera Cruz 2017, scoring 88 points according to the judges. Both Platters and Tim Atkin scored the wine a staggering 95 points! And in wine accolades, seven points is quite significant.

    It’s a pity we don’t get to see tasting notes of this wine, which would be very interesting to compare since every vintage I’ve tried, at least, have been stupendous! And this is not a criticism of the judges, far from it. It is simply an exciting observation that fuels the debate of blind versus in-sight. And I, for one, vehemently believe there is more than enough space for both!

    Nevertheless, great report and congratulations to the top performers!

    • Ed Beukes1 June 2021

      Dear Jacob,

      I on the other hand differ completely. I work for Du Toitskloof Wines (under the top 10 for this report) and since working for a brand perceived as a retail and bulk wine producer, I’ve found it very difficult to break the consumer perception that wines under R100 are inferior in quality to wines of R200 or R300.

      It has only been by means of blind tastings (where a panel cannot see a brand, label or bottle) that we’ve managed to break that perception – because unfortunately, we are all human and preconceived ideas and knowledge shape the way we look at everything (especially wine).

      Both Tim Atkin and Platter’s are an example of this. Last year Tim Atkin didn’t even request wines from Du Toitskloof (though we’ve won top awards from multiple blind-tasting challenges/competitions) and Platter’s don’t taste blind at all – so it’s the same preconceived ideas that filter into judging.

      Therefore, Winemag’s Reports excite me every time because no matter the size of your cork – everyone is on the same, fair playing field.

      • Jacob van Rensburg1 June 2021

        Dear Ed

        Thank you for your response, and many congratulations to Du Toitskloof’s excellent faring in the report! I am not sure what you disagree with concerning my comment, as most consumers and commentators alike would agree that blind tastings throw out peculiar results. And in both directions. I referred to Delheim’s Vera Cruz Pinotage as the oddity in this instance. However, you would find similar exceptions elsewhere.

        Nevertheless, I am undoubtedly a fan of both blind and sighted tastings, for reasons very well summarized by Mall Walls (https://timatkin.com/the-kingdom-of-the-blind/). Ultimately, there are very many explanations why wineries would want or not want to enter a blind competition, including the stakes and subsequent impact (what is to lose or gain with a good or bad result), the lack of information on the wine, and the lack of understanding of a specific wine at a given time (there is no opportunity to look over the judges’ shoulders and provide feedback to questions), etcetera.

        As far as the value-proposition is concerning, I fully agree with the role perception plays when purchasing wine at various price points. However, you would be hard-pressed to argue that a R200-wine is not better than a R100-wine, on average. And that’s the beauty of blind tastings right there. A R100-wine will, on occasion (as Du Toitskloof has successfully done in this report), outperform its more expensive counterpart. Furthermore, many consumers will look to blind tastings when making value purchases, especially when one does not want to be “drowned” with all the marketing, hype, even track-record, etcetera.

        Ultimately, for me, the difference between blind and sighted is simple. A blind tasting poses the question: “Given the fact you know nothing, how does this wine taste right now?” Whereas, for sighted tastings: “Given the insight you have from the winery, label, history, other consumers’ and commentators’ views, and any additional information you have at your disposal, how does this wine taste now?” No doubt there is space for both, as I would not argue with the pallets of Christian, Malu, and James when blindfolded. Nor would I doubt the findings of Tim or any of the Platters’ tasters when they have their thinking caps on.

        Cheers and happy drinking! I will be sure to look out for your excellent 2018 Pinotage!

        • Christian Eedes3 June 2021

          Hi Jacob, Your comments about the respective merits of blind and sighted tastings are sensible and refreshing. For the record, a tasting note for the Delheim Vera Cruz 2017 based on how it showed in the Prescient Report tasting: “Dark and brooding aromatics: Smoky reduction, black cherry, dried herbs, cocoa and spice. The palate shows dense fruit, hard acidity and astringent tannins. Full and forceful although the fruit appears to be fading already.”

        • Ed Beukes3 June 2021

          Hi Jacob,

          Thank you for congratulating our winemakers, I will be sure to pass on your words. I enjoyed the article by Mall Walls – thank you. My preference however remains unchanged.

          Be sure to taste our Pinotage 2018… in fact, you owe it to yourself to purchase at least a case!

          Warm regards.

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