There are many misconceptions about Pinotage and this wine helps dispel many of them. The first is that Pinotage is only grown in South Africa and while it is true that Pinotage was created in South Africa it is now grown all over the world including with this wonderful example from California. Secondly is that Pinotage doesn’t have the ability to age well. While this isn’t a 100 year old Bordeaux it is many years past what most people will tell you is the prime age range for Pinotage and it still shines with lots of silky fruit.
The wine maker is Robert van der Vijver who was born in the Netherlands and has been making wine for over 20 years.
The current release Pinotage vintage from Van Der Vijver is 2008 and is made from Estate grown fruit. The 2002 was produced from fruit sourced from Amador County (from John Bree I suspect).
Color is deep garnet with a rim variation that can only come with proper bottle aging. On the nose this wine sings with blackberries, cherries and just a touch of coffee. The tannins that I suspect were strong a dozen years ago have now been well integrated with the fruit into a smooth silky treat to the tongue. Just 12.7% ABV makes this a very easy drinking wine.
I thoroughly enjoyed the 2002 Van Der Vijver Estate Pinotage Reserve and look forward to visiting their vineyard on my next trip out west.