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2009 Lions Drift Pinotage

This wine has an interesting blend of black and red fruits, with a touch of vanilla, on the nose. There isn't a hint of the dreaded Pinotage "burnt rubber" in this wine. It gets really interesting on the palate, throwing out layers of different flavors, one after another. It starts with tart black fruit, blackberry and a little elderberry, but within seconds the tart flavors shade to cranberry, then even more quickly sweetens to strawberry, joined by limestone and vanilla. This is a young Pinotage, with good acid, and lightly dusty tannins, that doesn't have any off flavors that might magnify over time, suggesting it is a good candidate for half a dozen years or more in the cellar. This is a good wine at a great price. Drink with barbequed beef. Highly Recommended. DH
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2009 Dark Lady of the Labyrinth Pinotage

“Rubber” has become synonymous with Pinotage, at least partly due to the power of suggestion. But you won’t find a hint of it here, even if you try. Aging in heavily toasted oak gives the wine an aromatic nose of mocha, coffee, and chocolate along with the more typical Pinotage nose of smoked bacon. On the palate, cherry, plum and almonds mingle with the continuing mocha and bacon notes ending with a velvety smooth finish. Does not come across as your normal Pinotage! While chocolate or mocha desserts are a more obvious match, it would be fantastic with a more traditional Mexican dish covered in that chili-chocolate hybrid known as molé sauce.
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2009 Dark Lady of the Labyrinth Pinotage

“Rubber” has become synonymous with Pinotage, at least partly due to the power of suggestion. But you won’t find a hint of it here, even if you try. Aging in heavily toasted oak gives the wine an aromatic nose of mocha, coffee, and chocolate along with the more typical Pinotage nose of smoked bacon. On the palate, cherry, plum and almonds mingle with the continuing mocha and bacon notes ending with a velvety smooth finish. Does not come across as your normal Pinotage! While chocolate or mocha desserts are a more obvious match, it would be fantastic with a more traditional Mexican dish covered in that chili-chocolate hybrid known as molé sauce.
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2007 Café Culture Pinotage

An odd, almost clashing nose of smoky bacon and blackberries, but not a lot of fruit there. At first comes across light on the palate with flabby tannins. It almost yells at you, “not home, come back later.” And you will be rewarded if you do. The flavors open up, with more expressive dark berry and nutmeg flavors. Still a bit short on the finish, but all in all, a pretty fair wine for the price. Went well with a BLT (which was admittedly the only thing I had around the house at the moment).
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2007 Southern Right Pinotage

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.
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2007 Waboomsrivier Pinotage – Western Cape

I don't generally enjoy Pinotage, and this is very good wine. The typical Pinotage burnt rubber is nowhere to be found. Instead, it is a very nice glass of sweet toasty black fruit. Wood is obvious but not overwhelming. Instead, it adds a light background of sweet wood-burned maple to plums, boysenberry, and blueberry. This is a good food wine, too, for the sweet wood and fruit are balanced by acids that will happily complement well-marbled beef. Drink this with a big Ribeye and some creamed spinach.
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South Africa: Exploring Wines of the Rainbow Nation

Diversity is the ingredient that illuminates South Africa. Referred to as the “rainbow nation,” a title which reflects the country's multicultural spirit, South Africa is truly famous for its mixture of heritages and traditions. It is a place with 11 official languages and one of the world’s most diverse populations, and biologically speaking, it is ranked as the third most complex country in the world. Fulfilling its nature, the wines of the region also exemplify the immense diversity of South Africa in style and character.
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2007 Nederburg Pinotage – Western Cape, South Africa

Hoist Nederburg's Winemaster's Reserve Pinotage in salute to the South African's efforts at the World Cup. There is a lot to like in a full-flavored, yet simple, and enjoyable glass of red wine. It's well balanced and spends some time with stainless steel and oak. Therefore, the wine is smooth enough for any wine newbie yet just enough tannin structure to be taken seriously. The fruit is really rich and maybe even mildly sweet. This wine would pair well with simple pasta and pizza. It has a modest 13.8 percent alcohol.