Lanzerac Wine Estate has been awarded Double Gold for its 2011 Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage at the recent Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards. The results were announced at an awards function held on 12 September.
Winemaker Wynand Lategan regards the Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage as being very special as not only are the grapes sourced from one of the farm’s oldest Pinotage vineyards, but the grapes are grown on a single vineyard situated 400 metres above sea level in the Jonkershoek Valley. The wine is fermented in small tanks where only natural yeasts are used and punching the cap is done by hand. Wynand describes the process as ‘slow cooking’ as it takes approximately a week for fermentation to finish, whereas Pinotage normally takes only three to four days to complete fermentation. Just before the juice is fermented dry, it is separated from the skins and a basket press is used to ensure a very delicate pressing action.
The effect of natural fermentation and the gentle pressing action with the basket press results in a wine with tremendous complexity, but with integrated, velvety tannins. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation in barrels and has spent a period of 18 months in mostly new French oak, before bottling.
The Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage pays tribute to the first bottled Pinotage in the world – a 1959 Lanzerac Pinotage, as well as Prof Abraham Perold, who developed Pinotage in 1925, a variety unique to South Africa, when he crossed Pinot Noir with Cinsaut/Hermitage.
The 2011 Pionier has an excellent deep colour, with typical varietal aromas like ripe, plummy red fruit on the nose. A big mouth-feel, complex and velvety palate, with a long and lingering aftertaste rounds off this wine. With five to ten years’ maturation it will start to acquire the velvet density and luxurious chocolate and caramel flavours for which its predecessors is known. The perfect partner with a Malay currie, bobotie or venison.
Since being introduced to the market in 2004 the Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage has established itself firmly in the industry as a pioneer Pinotage, with each vintage since 2004 earning several gold medals.A Pinotage to be proud of!