Judging for the ABSA Top 10 Pinotage Competition this year should be a pleasure if the wines are all like the Diemersdal 2011 Reserve Thys Louw showed me yesterday. Only bottled last week, even in the deepest bottle shock, the wine could not help blowing us away: succulent fruit, judicious oaking, excellent balance (14% alcohol) and tight tannins like the lily feet of the concubine of a Chinese emperor. Which is where this one will probably end up, as Thys remarks the People’s Republic can’t get enough of his Pinotage.
Thys has just shipped his second container this year of the screw cap smaller brother to Beijing where those ample black plum flavours will go down a treat with Peking Duck which I was surprised to see wasn’t called Beijing Duck at the Tang Dynasty restaurant in Shanghai. Wafer thin disks of crisp roasted duck skin with the subcutaneous layer of fat and a hint of meat – these are communist Eucharists. Served with Mandarin pancakes, spring onions and hoisin sauce, Pinotage is the perfect accompaniment.
Thys se pa Tienie should sell some of the Diemersdal sheep and plant ducks to offer vacuum packed Peking Duck and Pinotage to Chinese tourists. He’ll have more success that WOSA who spend R1 million a year in the Far East with precious little to show for it. Unless it’s to source those COSATU-like Wieta T-shirts their casual staff were sporting at the London Wine Trade Fair last month. Hopefully made by ethical T-shirt manufacturers, run on the strictest ladyboy labour principles, in the East. A good use for the R1.5 million annual Wieta windfall from WOSA says my inner communist. It certainly got the message across to “ignorant” SA producers in London, although probably not a positive one judging by the captions that accompanied the e-mails home.
Anyway, Tienie can afford to reprise Little Bo Peep as his flock has increased remarkably since the sheep heart rate monitors were installed, linked to the cell phone network as an anti-rustling device. Taking a leaf out of the Amarula recipe book and their collared elephants in the Kruger, although at greatly reduced cost.