1998 Napa Valley Estate Pinotage

"Debut Release"

This is our first varietal Pinotage even though we have been growing the vine since 1990. The grape is a genetic cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault that was first rendered in South Africa earlier this century. It is a rare find outside of it's home country. We started growing it with dreams of someday making it into a wine of it's own. That day has come.

After making it into wine for a few years we have come to better understand the vines, grapes, and wine a little better. We have also been searching for a style that best captures the essence of the grape and what it has to offer in our meso- and micro-climate. In the winery the grape has tended to show more of it's Rhone Valley (Cinsault) parentage.

We have made this 1998 Pinotage in a very fruit forward style; it has marks of a Beaujolais wine. The growing season was cool overall, with a late ripening curve; this didn't phase our South African friend. Pinotage has shown itself to be our earliest ripening variety, red or white, hands down. A little extra time for the fruit on the vine was appreciated. The development we acheived can be seen in the deep ruby/magenta color and the juicy, ripe red fruit aromas. Interestingly, we have chosen to ferment the wine each year with a special "Assmanshausen" liquid yeast culture from Germany. This yeast is usually used on Pinot Noir and is reported to be "an extractive yeast that accents fruit and spice." Many elements have come together to make the complexity seen in this wine.

This wine is a perfect foil for spring and summer fare, including foods from the backyard grill, with it's vibrant fruit and rich texture.


Another first for this wine is the debut of our new Estate Label. Future Estate wines will also cary this new label and other custom packaging elements. We only produced 43 cases of this unique and rare wine.


Recipes Paired With This Wine:

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