Lemberg, Spencer Pinotage 2016

(2021) South Africa's own grape, Pinotage (a cross of Pinot Noir and Cinsault) has to be handled carefully to coax the best from it, but when that happens the result can be delicious and fine wines like this from Lemberg's vineyards in Tulbagh, the remote and wild vine country to the north of the main winelands. Picked in the early morning for coolness, grapes were hand sorted and the wine was aged in a combination of 300L and 500L French oak barrels for 18 months. It's a sumptuous style, brimming with plush black fruit, coffee and tobacco spicing, but with a buoyant cherry edge. In the mouth it is creamy and has a certain chocolaty character to the tannins, but the fruit depth and very good balance of acidity and a Pinot-like truffle quality contribute to a compelling picture. Watch the video for more information.

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