Boy, I have really never liked Pinotage. So I am thrilled to be drinking the 2005 Fairview Pinotage. It’s from South Africa (duh). I think Pinotage is a cross b/t Pinot Noir and Cinsault. (Correct me if I’m wrong). It has a ton of bacony smokiness on the finish that mingles with some really bright cherry fruit, the kind of fruit you would expect from a Pinot Noir. I think the fruit comes out a little more with some air. I noted on Fairview’s website that this wine is fermented in stainless and raised in old oak, which I think is fantastic. This is definitely a food wine. Real BBQ, like brisket or pork shoulder and this Pinotage would be heavenly. As long as it’s not drown in sarse. Forget Zinfandel; Pinotage is the true BBQ wine.
And although it’s 14.5% alcohol, it does not taste hot. I’m really impressed, a really nice wine for under $20 on the shelf. Kudos, Fairview! Weird grapes rule.
UPDATE: I LOVE IT! Decant it for about an hour; the funk subsides a bit and the fruit rises up. Great acidity. I think this is an ager, too. I’d love to drink one of these in like 5 years. Maybe I will. Maybe I will. Strongly considering purchasing a few for the cellar, especially at this price. Really, really nice. I am rekindling my love affair with South African wines. They had me from hello; they complete me. Much more interesting than Australian; they have the fun fruit but more earthy-type old-world flavors. And though generally the reds are pretty high in alcohol, they have nice acidity that I think hides it pretty well. Bravo.