The palate has plum, smoke, a surprising taste of apricot, but it is all wrapped in burnt rubber. The burnt rubber taste was overwhelming when it was opened, but moved more to the background after a couple of hours. Some mint started to peek through. Dusty tannins show up on the finish. Drink with well-sauced ribs and some coleslaw.

WHO: Southern Right
WHAT: Pinotage
WHERE: Walker Bay, South Africa
WHEN: 2007

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David Honig

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  • Oh, gosh. It is unfortunate when a very good producer like Southern Right fouls off a pitch, but is sounds like their 2007 Pinotage (or at least that bottle)was really not up to standard. Pinotage can be like the little girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead; when she was good, she was very, very good, and when she was bad she was HORRID.

    We know a lot about Pinotage since we also grow and produce the wine ourselves in South Africa. Fortunately, we have been quite consistent with the grape and people love our wine. Check out and don’t write off Pinotage with one bad experience. But its appears this is a vintage to avoid …

  • David,

    No question, I would never write off an entire varietal for a single bottle. Regular readers will likely recall we liked the Waboosmriver Pinotage ( and the Nederburg (–-western-cape-south-africa/), both from the ’07 vintage as well.

  • ” … a vintage to avoid …” is how I ended my above comments. I should have completed the sentence I had in my head “… from Southern Right!” Certainly David Honig/Palate Press have a reputation of treating Pinotage very fairly and there was nothing wrong with Pinotage in 2007. (In fact, the Wabooms 2007 was from our Silkbush vineyard,as was the 2008 Lions Drift Pinotage, also well reviewed by this electronic magazine.)

    Clearly the Southern Right winery blew it with this bottle, and hopefully not with their whole 2007 vintage of Pinotage; it seems quite strange that for a wine selling for $27/retail it could all be pretty bad. Hopefully someone from the winery will respond appropriately.