I have to admit to being somewhat of a novice when it comes to South African wines, but having discovered the Diemersfontein Pinotage 2012, I’d be happy to become a more regular oenological tourist to their viticultural shores.
The Pinotage grape is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, and has become somewhat of a national cult wine in South Africa. It typically exhibits a mocha smokiness on the nose and an intensity of aromatic fruit that is minimalist at the front, but which intensifies as it graces the mid and back palate. But the Diemersfontein is different. While it’s true that the baked plums and woody characters embolden on the middle and mature at the back, there are intensely sweet vanilla (almost crème brûlée) coffee notes which almost beguile you into thinking you’re indulging in an affogato in a Pinot glass! But there’s no coffee grind bitterness on the finish and the delightful gateau flavours linger until the next sip is taken.
Perhaps the worst you can say is that the acid is a little subdued to the extent that perhaps it’s structurally just a little bit flabby, but it’s also eminently drinkable – especially at the $30 price point.