This is a bigger wine than a Pinot Noir – rich, smooth yet subtle, with a touch of bramble, black berries and forest floor.Pinotage is a cross between Pinot Noir and its heartier cousin, Cinsault. The aim was to produce a grape that was less fragile to cultivate and to vinify than the delicate Pinot Noir. With its thicker skin from the Cinsault side of the family, Pinotage needs to be treated with the greatest delicacy during fermentation with very limited punch downs concentrated at lower alcohol levels.
The wine presents aromas of dark plums, leather with hints of cedar and spice. Bold dark fruit flavors on the palate are enhanced by smoke and sassafras that carry through to the intense finish.
Fruit from proprietary Pinotage clones MM1 and MM3, developed from budwood imported by Fort Ross from South Africa, was cold soaked for several days, fermented with native yeast in a five ton tank with pumping over and gentle punch downs to soften the tannins. The wine aged for 10 months in French oak (20% new) and was bottled unfined and unfiltered.