Stellenzicht winemaker Guy Webber, has seen his unwavering pleasure in Pinotage rewarded yet again – this time with a gold medal at the 2011 Decanter World Wine Awards for the 2008 vintage of Stellenzicht’s Golden Triangle Pinotage.
An avowed Pinotage-lover, he believes the appeal of this wine lies in its attractive “cedar and toasty oak scent, balanced by hints of ripe berries and touch of sweet vanilla”. Its tannins are “wonderfully ripe and integrated to leave a very friendly, unobtrusive and lasting finish”.
“Elegance is what I look for when making wine” he adds, in his typically understated way; “If you have good grapes, just treat them well and let them do what they naturally will do.”
Nevertheless, he does concede the importance of nuanced blending to achieve his desired result. “After 19 months of barrel maturation, the different batches were blended and returned to wood for an extra three months, producing sweet characters echoed in the sweet ripe berry and prune flavours of the Pinotage. I think this has added a rich, plush, mouth-filling dimension.”
The wine was aged in a combination of French, Eastern European and American oak barrels.
The 2009 vintage of the wine, now on the local market, expresses the same integrity of pure Pinotage fruit as the 2008 but is slightly more restrained. The wine was matured in oak barrels for 21 months and after blending was returned to wood for an extra month.
Webber says its full and rich flavours of stewed fruit on the palate pair extremely well with hearty home-cooked lamb and also with chicken curry.
For those with a palate for traditional South African fare, he suggests matching the wine with meat and bean casserole served with “stampkoring”, or even with “smoorsnoek” and “korrelkonfyt”.
A perfect companion for a cosy indoors winter’s evening and comfort food, the 2009 Golden Triangle Pinotage retails for about R82 a bottle.