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Middelvlei Free Run Pinotage 2018

The history of Pinotage is an interesting one. A cross cultivar of Pinot Noir and Hermitage (now Cinsault), it was developed in South Africa well over 50 years ago at Stellenbosch university in attempt to develop an easier to grow form of Pinot Noir. The new varietal was not instantly taken up and for many years languished, forgotten at the university until many years later it was re-discovered and taken to Lanzerac in Stellenbosch where the first commercial Pinotage was produced in the late 1960’s. Since then the varietal has been embraced by South African producers as it’s indigenous red grape, although it still often divides opinion as to it’s true merits, with die hard traditionalists preferring the original qualities it possessed of earthy farmyard characters, whilst new incarnations tend towards a smoother, softer style.


The free run Pinotage 2018 from Middelvlei is an extremely approachable example. Dark opaque in colour, the nose offers up dark cherry and cassis with a hint of sweetness. The wine lingers on the palate, long and rich with full flavours of mulled dark fruits and just a hint of spice. The wine is rounded with smooth tannins and a wonderful softness which then develops in the mouth to reveal an end of fresher raspberry and blackberry. This is a rich wine but with plenty of freshness.


MD 90/100