It’s now more than a decade since Bertus Fourie came into the winery at Diemersfontein one morning, sniffed the air and thought it smelt like a coffee shop. Now known as ‘Mr Starbucks’, he makes choc/coff Pinotage under his own label, but the style he originated has rapidly become one of the most popular in SA.
Purists loathe it (I’m not a huge fan myself, mainly because I’m not keen on coffee!) but there is no denying that if you ask any gathering of normal drinking folk, a choc/coff wine will be a winner. So here are 5 that you should try if you want to get your coffee fix in a wine glass.
Diemersfontein Pinotage (R99.99 from Pick n Pay) The Daddy of the category and still one of the best in this style. Diemersfontein successfully manage to temper the strong coffee and chocolate flavours with a healthy dose of black fruit and some toffee and the wine is definitely not overtly choc/coff but rather has real elegance and charm. I once likened it to a purple Quality Street and see no reason to change my mind now!
Barista Pinotage (R59.99 from Pick n Pay)
This is Bertus Fourie’s own label and it’s doing rather well for him both here in SA and overseas. It’s a well-balanced affair with the famous aromas and flavours sharing centre-stage with lots of berries, nicely-managed tannins and a lengthy finish. A good introduction to the style.
Boland Cellars Cuppapinoccinotage (R47.95 from Pick n Pay)
This wine definitely wins the award for silliest wine name – I never know whether the ‘pino’ bit or the ‘ccino’ bit comes first!! Whatever, it’s a cheap and cheerful wine with character and interest and the choc/coff flavours are given a helping hand here by some smoky meat and biltong as well. Good rugby wine.
Van Loveren Africa Java (R49.99 from Pick n Pay)
Good value, well-made wine as we have all come to expect from this dynamic, family-run Robertson operation. The coffee aspect is quite discreet with the black fruit flavours taking pride of place so this is a good one for non-coffee drinkers to share and enjoy.
Clos Malverne Le Café (R88 from the farm)
Seymour Pritchard and his team at Clos Malverne have made quite a thing of Pinotage over the last few years, producing some of the Cape’s finest. So it’s no real surprise that they’ve had a go at the current trendy style, and it’s also no surprise that their version is very nice indeed. Quite smoky, soft juicy fruit and a caffeine lick at the finish.
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