Pinotage is a fantastic though misunderstood varietal which benefits from a gentle touch, in order to uncover its true potential and unique qualities. This maiden vintage of Radford Dale Vinum Pinotage expresses the real nature of what this grape has to offer – refreshing, juicy black fruits with poise and elegance and ripe tannins. Alc: 13.5%, TA: 5.6g/l, pH 3.72, RS: 2.8g/l
In the vineyard
This vineyard is located in the northern part of the Stellenbosch region and is 22 years old. As is typical in our region, the alluvial soil in this vineyard contains a high proportion of decomposing granite which comes from the magnificent mountains which surround us. We have been experiencing an extended drought period in the Western Cape and 2018 marked the third year with very little rainfall. The winter before the harvest was cold but the summer was long and hot. This led to a small but concentrated crop, of very high quality. Especially for early ripening varieties like Pinotage. As usual, the grapes were harvested by hand early in the morning into 20kg lug boxes then transported to our cellar.
In the cellar
At the cellar the grapes were manually sorted to ensure only the best bunches were used. Our primary objective with this wine was to use a wild fermentation led by carbonic maceration to reveal the hidden side of Pinotage. This whole berry, natural fermentation took place in open, 600L wooden fermenters for a very soft extraction of colour, flavour and tannins. Once the alcoholic fermentation had finished, we transferred the pomace to our press where the wine was gently removed from the skins and then moved into small, Burgundian barrels (228L and 300L), an equal mix of 2nd, 3rd & 4th fill for malolactic fermentation and maturation. No new oak was used as we wanted the wine to exhibit its freshness while adding texture and complexity.
Pretty much anything off the grill. Pairs particularly well with lamb, venison or veal cuts. The wine has enough tannin and structure to pair perfectly with lighter red meat cuts without over powering them