Fleur du Cap is celebrating as its Fleur du Cap Series Privée 2016 was awarded an ABSA Top 10 Pinotage, beating fierce competition from over 161 entries judged by an impressive panel of judges.
Winemaker Pieter Badenhorst is thrilled with the ranking especially since he believes the calibre of wines entered, escalate year on year.
“It’s interesting to see the innovation and the exceptional quality of Pinotages made today compared to a decade ago. There’s been an increased demand too from consumers, not only locally but abroad, and many winemakers have upped their game. Gone are the days when Pinotage had a bad name for being brash or unremarkable.”
“Pinotage is a delicate grape to work with and needs a gentle touch! But it’s a cultivar that thrives in dry land conditions, benefits from hand-harvesting at optimum ripeness and the right choice of wood to ensure soft tannins, integrated flavours and complexity. It’s a wine that you literally have to nurture from the vine and throughout the cellar, with little interference.”
The Fleur du Cap Series Privée 2016 has an alluring bright deep red colour with an abundance of red fruit such as strawberry and cherry with hints of sweet oak spice on the nose. The aromas follow through onto the fruit-forward palate leading with a juicy mid-plate and elegant, soft tannins. If you can resist, the wine will cellar well over the next 10 years but it will be enjoyable now especially when paired with Mediterranean and spicy Moroccan dishes.
The grapes were hand-picked from a trellised vineyard situated in Stellenbosch Kloof on a north-facing slope and from two bush vine vineyards – one in Bottelary Hills and the other in Agter Paarl. After destemming and light crushing, the juice was punched down during fermentation for optimal extraction of colour and tannins. After passing through small basket presses, malolactic fermentation took place in barrel, of which 30% was new French Oak, before maturation of 16 months in a combination of new and older wood barrels.
The Fleur du Cap Series Privée 2016 is available from fine liquor outlets and retails for about R180.