Pinotage Predicament

Does Pinotage age? Eyebrows flew off the Richter scale when Christian Eedes vouchsafed that Operation Pinotage has begun with the Maitland maven commissioned to report on “the current state of the variety” by Decanter magazine, no less. In the interests of research, Chris pulled two bottles “at random” from his late dad’s cellar and reports that the Kanonkop 1992 and 1993 both “proved excellent drinking.”

c11 Pinotage Predicament

Decanter's Mr. Pinotage, Christian Eedes

Chris was promptly contradicted in a comment on my winenews column (which quickly went to most read story on the site this month with over 1000 hits in a couple of days) by Greg Sherwood MW who notes that another Kanonkop, half the age of Christian’s, the 1998, was “a medicinal menance… though it was slightly better the next day in the decanter.” In fact Greg reports “Pinotage and Pinotage blends just don’t seem to age well and few will improve in bottle beyond 3 or 4 years” and even more damningly “Of the 1000+ bottles I have in my South African cellar bought from the mid-1990s, the only ones I would not have bought to age are the Pinotage and Pinotage blends… Sorry Pinotage! I try so hard to love you, but…..”

Something for Christian to think about when he lays the bottles aside and picks up his pen. Or could it be that Pinotage simply does not travel well?