Who are the Naughty Boys of SA wine?

Anthropomorphisms are popular in winespeak. We talk about wines having “long legs” and being “fleshy” and “big-boned.” They are often compared to people: a Dolly Parton of a Chardonnay, a Charles Atlas Cabernet. If some varietals are masculine and others feminine, then Pinotage is a naughty boy: loud and unruly at times, shirt hanging out and hair awry but always loveable. We chose six naughty boys from this year’s ABSA Top Ten selection which was rated blind by a panel of judges under the chairmanship of Duimpie Bayly the legendary chairman of the demarcation committee.

nb 300x300 Who are the Naughty Boys of SA wine?

Taking a leaf out of the insurance sellers training manual of Sanlam Private Investments whose National Portrait Competition last month made over R250K for the Rust en Vrede Gallery (nice work if you can get it) we commissioned Cape Town artist Christopher Denovan, who paints with the pastoral elegance of a reincarnation of Denton Welch, to immortalize our bibulous Billy Bunters in oil. The SPI winner brought minutes of enjoyment to voyeurs and we hope Chris’ work will perform a similar civic service to wine lovers. Crikes!

To spice up the opening of Pinotage: Naughty Boy of SA Wine at the Pendock Wine Gallery @ Taj on Thursday at 6pm, we’re running a competition. First prize is a case of the six wines featured on the exhibition. The competition question is “identify the six naughty boys of SA wine in the image above.” Hint: top left is Tariro Masayiti. Entries to [email protected] Entries close at 6pm on Thursday 5th September and the winner will be announced at the opening of the exhibition.

Some tasting notes of the six wines on show, to help you.

#1 Diemersdal Pinotage 2012; naughty boy Thys Louw

On the nose, a complex mélange of red fruits, vanilla, spices and rich dark chocolate. The palate is full flavoured and smooth with chocolate and roasted banana.

#2 Rooiberg Pinotage Reserve 2012; naughty boy André van Dyk

An intense ruby-red colour, on the palate there are delightful banana flavours and charms of strawberry, redcurrant and blackberry. Supported by subtle vanilla from maturation in new barrels, serve with moussaka, grilled steak, ostrich, beef curry, lamb stew or cheeses like Edam and Cheddar.

#3 Wildekrans Pinotage 2011; naughty boy William Wilkinson

Delicate hints of cherries and raspberries infused with an herbaceous undertone of fynbos and cloves. The palate is round with soft and elegant tannins. A cool climate benchmark.

#4 Black Elephant Vintners the Back Roads Pinotage 2012; naughty boy Jacques Wentzel

Pitch black with dark purple rim. An expressive nose of red and black currants, chocolate and exotic spices. A youthful palate with great fruit concentration, driving acidity and fine but firm tannins.

#5 Manley Pinotage 2011; naughty boy Stefan Hartmann

A medium bodied wine with dark ruby red colour. Red fruits, strawberry and raspberry nose with vanilla and light oak evident. Rich fruit flavours with tannin, oak and acidity present in perfect balance.

#6 Springfontein Jonathan’s Ridge Pinotage 2010; naughty boy Tariro Masayiti

This wine is rich and full-bodied with exceptional bright red fruit, subtle oak spice and sweet natural nuances of vanilla.