Pinot @ Prowein


Paul Cluver, CEO of the eponymous wine producer, gave a presentation on Pinot Noir, the heartbreak grape, at Prowein this week.  As part of the presentation, he asked three wine writers for their opinion and as is so often the case, the answers reveal as much about the wine writers as they answer the question.

pn 300x199 Pinot @ ProweinA question for winemakers.  Would you enter your Pinot into a competition when correspondent #3 was makhulu baas judge?  If so, you have an opportunity to do so at Robin von Holdt’s Top 100 SA Wines.  If the Bon Courage 2010 enters, it should be a shoe-in for glory, not least because it costs all of R125, but I suspect they know that and are too slim to waste the sizeable entry fee.  As Raphael, angelic sommelier at Bizerca Bistro noted when I drank a bottle with Woolworth’s wine whiz Allan Mullins CWM on Thursday “a young wine with an old soul.”

Q: Has there been an improvement in the quality of SA Pinot Noir?

Definitely and mainly caused by switch from Swiss to French clones and better sites (Neil Pendock)

Very definitely – clonal reasons and producer competence being the main reasons (Michael Fridjhon)

Yes, although it remains a grape of minor importance (Tim Atkin)

Q: Is there a dominant style of Pinot Noir from SA or can a style be associated with a specific growing region?

Elgin and Walker Bay, Franschhoekfranschhoekcellarwines Pinot @ Prowein
by franschhoekwines
, Roberston, Agulhas and Stellenbosch produce markedly different styles  (Neil Pendock)

Not an SA style – Meerlust and Chamonix differ markedly from Walker Bay/Elgin (Michael Fridjhon)

Not really. I think Elgin and Hermanus are the only good Pinot growing areas to date, but there aren’t enough good examples to talk about regional styles.  (Tim Atkin)

Q: Which growing areas are doing well and should be followed?

Agulhas is a very exciting newcomer.  Elgin is also delivering the goods.  (Neil Pendock)

Obviously Walker Bay Elgin – but high altitude inland (Chamonix), maritime (Meerlust) and great potential in places like Herold’s .  (Michael Fridjhon)

As before Elgin and Walker Bay are the only good Pinot growing areas to date, but there aren’t enough good examples to talk about regional styles.  (Tim Atkin)

Q: Any general comments?

In general overpriced.  Hats off to Two Oceans for making an inexpensive pinot to broaden the market (Neil Pendock)

Much improved because we are beginning to get a better sense of the expectation, and winemakers are less fearful of the alleged difficulties.  (Michael Fridjhon)

It’s a long road.  (Tim Atkin)


 
 
 
 
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