After judging 32 2011 Pinotages at Nederburg yesterday, Anthony Hamilton Russell summed up the vintage. “2011 is all about fruit. The only crimes are winemaking ones.” And judging by my scores, he is not wrong. “If you think 2011 was a fruit vintage, then you’ll love 2012” added Gideon Theron, head winemaker at Lutzville Cape Diamond Vineyards. And sure enough, the single 2012 entry elicited a score of 17/20 from Miguel Chan and moi. “If that’s from Robertson, I’ll eat your hat” offered Hammo. And although this was a blind tasting, I’ll be keeping an eye out for 2012 Pinotages with terrific titfer terroir. Addicts of Cockney rhyming slang will know what I’m talking about.
Of the seven palates convened by Duimpie Bayly, only the panel chair and I have done ABSA duty before. The most glamorous taster is Samantha De Morney-Hughes and the most unexpected as her boss at Vergelegen, André van Rensburg, is not a fan of the varietal. But Pinotage is a broad church and on the basis of the 68 wines tasted yesterday, a world class one.