The dark dense ruby hue is the first indication that you are about to be introduced to a wine that trumpets its exotic parentage. the nose is packed with bright bramble fruit and intense plum flavors enhanced by savory spice overtones. The subtle tannins that frame the mouthfeel of this full bodied wine make you want to explore further. What is this wine? Pinotage is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, developed in South Africa in 1925. It is excellent served with hearty meals, spicy cuisine and grilled dishes.
While Pinotage shares many traits with Pinot Noir, there is an exotic brambleness that distinguishes it from its more famous cousin. Our 2001 Pinotage is rich and well-structured with subtle tannins that frame this full-bodied wine. The ripe plum and blackberry flavors are enhanced by spicy overtones. It is the perfect accompaniment to hearty meals, spicy foods and grilled meats.
Pinotage was first developed in South Africa in 1925 by crossing the two vinifera varieties, Pinot Noir and Cinsault. Our Pinotage consists of two Fort Ross proprietary clones, MM1 and MM3, developed from budwood personally imported by Fort Ross from one of the most select Pinotage vineyards in South Africa. We vinify the variety much the same as our Pinot Noir. After hand sorting, the grapes were destemmed, cold soaked for several days and fermented in simple open-top fermenters and gently punched down. Shortly after pressing, the wines were barreled in a combination of new and used French oak. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
2001 was our first commercial vintage. A relatively cool spring preceded warm weather in May and June. In August and September, the cooling influence of the nearby Pacific Ocean allowed the grapes to reach physiological maturity without the risk of dehydration. Individual blocks were harvested on multiple occasions based upon flavor profile and ripeness of the individual vines.