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Riana van der Merwe: Young Winemaker in a Young Region

Overberg is one of the regions in South Africa to show the most promise for pinot noir cultivation. And even though the finicky, yet highly-sought-after variety generates the most excitement throughout the area, other cool climate grapes such as chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and syrah have displayed world class abilities. Riana van der Merwe intends to share these grapes’ qualities with the rest of the world.
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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