My favorite thing since starting this blog has been to discover just how many different vineyards are planting Pinotage throughout the United States. Horton Vineyards in Orange County, Virginia has been growing Pinotage since 1998 and released their first varietal Pinotage wine in 2007 from the 2005 vintage.
Michael Heny the winemaker at Horton says they currently have two 1 acre plots (Berry Hill Vineyard and Elly Vineyard) of Pinotage growing with the earlier of the two being planted in 2003 with vines that were grated from their original plantings at Turkey Mountain Vineyard. The wines are barrel aged in 3rd and 4th fill French Oak with an aim to create softness and suppleness.
For this tasting I opened a bottle of their inaugural Pinotage from 2005. The wine was deep ruby in color with just a hint of rim variation. Just a small amount of sedimentation remained as I was pouring the last glass. On the nose the wine was full of red berry fruits with just a hint of oak and tobacco. The aromas followed through to the palate with raspberries and cherries with a nice smokey undertones coming from the oak. This Virginia grown Pinotage is easy to drink while offering nice layers of balanced fruit and tanins.
Horton’s current vintage of Pinotage is the 2013 available for $20/bottle from their website and if you would like to try the 2005 they have a few cases remaining in their library for just $30/bottle.