11 Jul 2006

No Bertha Rochester

I REALLY enjoyed far too many bottles over the weekend, particularly Beyers Truter's Beyerskloof Pinotage 2005 [around £6, Sainsburys], possibly the fruitiest, least burnt Pinotage I've tasted to date. Liberally poured alongside French poussin with Lancs black-back coats served with roast beetroot, parmesan shavings, fresh mint and pine nuts, this wine positively shone. Some critics argue that Pinotage, child of a 1921 crossing between parents Pinot Noir and Hermitage grape Cinsaut (Cinsault in South Africa), is something of an embarassment, a Bertha Rochester that should be hidden away. I think it's capable of delivering an inimitably frank wine: sanguine, bacon-like with a trace of the smokery and just a hint of rust.
I also liberated a dusty bottle of fortified Moscatel d'Oro NV from Sainsburys, finding candied marzipan notes from the Moscatel de Alejandría and Muscat de Frontignan grapes. It felt ancient in style and probably doesn't make Torres a lot of profit, but good to see such an idiosyncratic style made.