Blind tasting of Absa Top 10 Pinotage 2019 finalists

By , 15 August 2019

In what has become an annual event, the Pinotage Association facilitates a blind tasting of the best 20 wines overall in the Absa Top 10 Pinotage competition prior to the announcement of the official winners.

It’s a useful way to get a feel for the state of the category and my observation would be while this year’s line-up was very credible, the wines taken as a collective don’t have either the grandeur of Cabernet Sauvignon or the thrill-factor of Shiraz. Pinotage, for me at least, is now definitely a regional oddity rather than South Africa’s vinous calling card.


My top ten included only three of the wines that appeared in the official list, these being Beyerskloof Winemaker’s Reserve 2017, Fleur de Cap Series Privée 2016 and Overhex Survivor 2017!

My three best wines overall were Kanonkop 2017. Fleur de Cap Series Privée 2016 and Windmeul The Legend Collection 2017, all of which I rated 93 on the 100-point quality scale.

Tasting notes as follows:

Fleur de Cap Series Privée 2016
Price: R180
Grapes from a Bottelary vineyard planted in 1987, a Paarl vineyard planted in 1994 and a Stellenbosch Kloof vineyard planted in 2000. Matured for 16 months in barrel, 30% new. The nose has top notes of violets and incense before red and black cherry, earth and spice. The palate, super-dense with a smooth textured – sweet on entry but the finish long and savoury. Properly complex and well balanced, this should age well.

Windmeul The Legend Collection 2017
Not yet released.
Dark cherry and attractive oak-derived notes including vanilla, incense and spice. Super-dense fruit offset by fresh acidity, the tannins firm but fine. A powerful wine which again should mature with benefit.

The Kanonkop 2017 previously reviewed here.

Find our South African wine ratings database here.


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