Absa Top Ten Pinotage Competition: final day of judging

It’s all over, bar the data processing. Forty one wines made it through to the final round: 4 from 2003, 6 from 2004, 12 from 2005 and 19 from 2006. The absence of any 2007 wines will surely raise a few eyebrows in Pinotage circles.

“Extremely sophisticated and efficient” was the verdict on the judging process from Julian Brind MW, retired wine buyer for UK supermarket chain Waitrose. My own impressions were just how responsive Pinotage is to vintage variation, with 2004 and 2006 my favourite years.

It is clear from the 2007s we tasted yesterday that the coffee/mocha style pioneered by Diemersfontein is becoming increasingly popular among producers. Whether the absence of a 2007 vintage wines from the Top Twenty line up will apply any brakes to this trend is doubtful. Does this mean a bifurcation for Pinotage into a serious style and a more commercial expression?

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