Pedigree: Kaapzicht, which means Cape view in old Dutch, is a legendry Bottelary Hills wine estate in the Stellenbosch region. Current winemaker, Danie Steytler Junior, is the 4th generation. Bottelary Hills is arguably the original home of South Africa's own grape, Pinotage. Pinotage is a crossing of Cinsaut, one of the permitted grape varieties of Chteauneuf-du-Pape, and Burgundy's Pinot Noir. In 1925 Pinotage was bred by Abraham Izak Perold Ph.D. who became professor of viticulture at the University of Stellenbosch. Pinotage burst onto the scene at the Cape Wine Show in 1959 when the hitherto unknown Pinotage wine, won the trophy, a feat repeated in 1961 at the South African Young Wine Show. Kaapzicht has championed Pinotage from the beginning and considers Pinotage to be its flagship wine. Besides varietal bottlings, all the blended red wines have some Pinotage in them and Danie's father, Danie Senior, once told me that he considers the Pinotage in the blends, sometimes in very modest quantities, to be the magic sauce. The Steytler range of wines is only made in the best years and from the best plots and the best barrels from those plots. The vines are planted in weathered granite on a layer of gravel above a crumbly clay sub-soil. Yields are low at around 2 tons per acre. Kaapzicht tries always to plant Pinotage as an untrellised bush vine, believing that the increased expense and difficulty of cultivation and harvesting are more than compensated for in quality.
Cellar practices are aimed at producing round, supple wines that have adequate but not excessive tannins and a silky mouthfeel. Steytler Pinotage spends 20 - 24 months in a mixture of 80% new and 20% second fill 300lL French oak barrels. It is delicious on release but will cellar for 15 years, increasing in elegance and complexity.
Color: A beautiful robe, deep ruby red, all but opaque.
Nose: A flash of forest floor, sweet vanilla spices, toasted coconut and milk chocolate, plums and raspberries.
Palate: Sensation of freshly picked plums on entry leads to a broad palate with minerally overtones. Adroitly managed tannins are firm though polished and fine grained, The wine has stuffing without undue weight and an appealing freshness. The lovely balance is testimony to impeccable farming, talented winemaking and exemplary fruit sources.
Serving Temperature: 65° F - 70° F
A classic pairing is with grilled meats off the "braai," South Africa's traditional version of back yard barbeque. It is also excellent with a deboned duck stuffed with minced chicken, turkey bacon, parsley and currants. Don't wish to eat meat? It is heavenly with grilled Portobella mushrooms.