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Friday 28 September 2012

Cappuccino Pinotage 2011, Boland Kelder, South Africa‏

Every wine geek knows that Pinotage is South Africa's best claim to a signature red grape.

A frankly rather inauspicious blend of the noble but finnicky Burgundian Pinot Noir with the little-seen southern ruffian that is Cinsault, it feels like a mismatch of "minor-royal-marries-glamour-model" proportions.

Pinotage does not feature heavily on this blog, but when Matt Ellis of St Neots merchant Smiling Grape dropped me a note to say he had a rather unusual wine for me to try and I would I like a sample, I was instantly hooked.

Named Cappuccino Pinotage, it is made by South Africa's Boland Wines and claims to combine the best elements of coffee and wine.

Of course mocha and coffee aromas in wine are nothing that unusual - especially in a cool-climate Merlot, for example; but according to the back label, the wine is designed to show "the mocha of ground coffee and cacao".

Purple in the glass, the nose shows aromas of cassis and, yes, mocha.

The palate is soft and full with ripe smokey plum and damson fruit, red berries, mocha aromas, a touch of spice and a chocolatey texture with a lingering persistence on the finish.

Whilst it is distinctly ripe, fruit-forward and New World, it also feels well-balanced - the gentle, soft tannins are very much in the background and it is reminiscent of a smooth after-dinner coffee liqueur.

A pleasant, well-made, South African easy-drinker with a distinct coffee edge, I rather like this wine - I'm not sure exactly when I'd drink it or with what, but it reminds me nostalgically of those little mocha chocolates one eats at Christmas.

£8.99 from Smiling Grape; provided for review.


Smiling Grape - website, twitter
Boland Wines - http://www.bolandwines.co.za/

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