Amperbo Pinotage Tempranillo 2021
By Christian Eedes, 31 August 2023
After graduating from the University of Stellenbosch with a degree in Viticulture and Oenology, Pieter Smit started his career as a viticulturist in 1989 at Jonkershoek property Oude Nektar, were oversaw the replanting of all the vineyards, working closely with the late Prof. Eben Archer as well as Neil Ellis. Today those vineyards supply fruit for the sought-after Stark-Conde wines.
Later he and his wife Michelle moved back to family property Amperbo in Bottelary which has long supplied several leading producers. The Smits always aspired to make their own wines, however, and 2021 was their maiden vintage.
One of these wines is an intriguing 80:20 Pinotage Tempranillo blend, the same blocks utilised for the Neil Ellis Bottelary Pinotage and Neil Ellis CWG Amper Bo Tempranillo respectively.
Smit’s wine underwent spontaneous fermentation before maturation lasting 18 months in barrels, 30% new and 70% fifth-fill. The nose shows heady aromas of black and blue berries, floral perfume, dried herbs, earth and spice while the palate has good fruit depth and firm but well managed tannins. At 15.01% alcohol, it’s close to redlining – plenty of fruit concentration but balance is just about retained. Price: R225 a bottle.
CE’s rating: 91/100.
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