Lanzerac 1959 Commemoration Pinotage 2019

By , 14 October 2021

In 1953, P.K. Morkel of Stellenbosch property Bellevue planted Pinotage on a speculative basis, the 1959 vintage from this vineyard going on to be judged best overall at that year’s Young Wine Show. The wine was subsequently sold in bulk to Stellenbosch Farmer’s Winery and was released under the Lanzerac label in 1961, thus becoming the first commercial release of the variety.

That 1953 vineyard remains in the ground and to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the original Pinotage, current Lanzerac winemaker Wynand Lategan prevailed on Bellevue for a portion of fruit to make a special release wine. Matured for 15 months in first-, second- and third-fill barrels, the wine shows red and black cherry, fynbos, a slight toasty note, vanilla and spice on the nose while the palate is medium bodied with good fruit expression, bright acidity and grippy tannins. It comes at the hefty price of R1 950 a bottle but is not nearly as forceful or overdone as you might fear.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

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