Written By: Indigo Wine Group

The varietal Pinotage is a South African original, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut (Hermitage), created by Professor Abraham Perold in 1925, the first Professor of Viticulture at Stellenbosch University. This variety combines the noble characteristics of the former with the reliability of the latter. Unique to South Africa, it can produce complex and fruity wines with age, but is also often very drinkable when young. With great strides made in the making of Pinotage, South Africa’s own variety is rapidly gaining acceptance and finding favor worldwide both as a varietal bottling and in blends.  Pinotage was first cultivated in earnest in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa.

This deliciously dark grape varietal produces ripe fruit flavors like blackberry, cherry, and fig, and has a bold, sweet jammy flavor with a smoky, earthy finish.  A full-bodied grape with medium-high tannins. Wonderfully enjoyed on it own or paired with many varying foods.

Pinotage grows exceptionally well under the cool breezes influenced by the two mighty oceans which meet at the southernmost tip of South Africa:  the Atlantic and the Indian ocean. Combine beneficial maritime influences like regular coastal fog and cooling sea breezes with a moderate Mediterranean climate, distinctive and varied topography, and diverse soils, and you have the ideal conditions in which to create wines of unique character and complexity.  Also, benefiting from the many different mesoclimates offered by the mountainous terrain and diverse terroirs. There’s constant interaction between the rugged peaks and multi-directional valley slopes.

The temperate climate features warm summers and cool winters with frost rarely a problem. Rain falls mainly between May and August.

Pinotage grapes are produced from dark, deep red soils, usually Glenrosa and Oakleaf soils, yield the grapes with the perfect parameters for this style of wine.

The first, and always unique, Barista ‘Coffee’ Pinotage:

In 2000, Bertus Fourie, was a winemaker at a small winery in Western Cape.  It was an exceptionally hot year, so all varietals ripened around the same time, and Bertus ran out of stainless-steel tanks in the winery. Being resourceful, he decided to ferment the Pinotage grape in oak.  He had quite a surprise waiting for him the following morning: when he opened the cellar door, the entire room was filed with the delicious aroma of coffee.

His immediate thought was, “this was a huge mistake, and I’m going to be fired!”  But that was far from the case. Two months later, a buyer from a large UK wine retail chain visited the winery. He tasted the wine, loved it, and bought the entire lot. And when it hit the stores, it sold out in two weeks. Bertus knew he was on to something big.

And it was  –  Barista Pinotage continues to gather fans worldwide!

Everyone is curious to know where the coffee aromas come from and ask whether flavoring has been added. Bertus quickly puts this notion to rest, by explaining, “the coffee aromas form the magic and the mystery.  All we know for certain is that they are a combination of the effects of a specific yeast strain, specific toasting of the barrels, specific oak type used to create the barrels, and of course, Pinotage grapes.  The rest are trade secrets. But what is remarkable is that only Pinotage grapes produce these coffee flavors.”

Barista Coffee Pinotage 2020 is a deliberately modern offering. This 100% Pinotage offers a burst of intense, rich coffee and chocolate aromas with nuances of ripe mulberry, plum and Maraschino cherries.  The sweet aroma of vanilla follow through on the palate and meld with the soft, luscious tannins.  A wine ready to be enjoyed.

Alcohol:  13.44%    RS:  7.9g/l    pH:   3.45    Total Acid:   5.45g/l

Barista Black 2019  Fortune favors the brave, but history remembers the victors.  This wine is a celebration of those with the foresight to envision their future, the courage to fight for their ideals, and the providence to share the prize with those  who have walked the road beside them.

This luxury wine provides a well-deserved moment to slow down and savor one’s hard-earned successes amidst the otherwise fast pace of our urban lifestyle.

100% Pinotage – Grapes for the 2019 Barista Black are sourced predominantly from a 20-year-old bush vine vineyard

In the Swartland. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks and the wine was then matured for 18 months with 20% of the wine aged in the first-fill French barrique.

Tasting Notes:  Plums, red currants and baking spice intermingle on the nose.  The palate has a juicy fruit core with velvety tannins and oak complexity. The finish is long, smooth and pleasantly dry.

Alcohol:   14.14%    RS:  3.35 g/l   pH: 3.64