2000 Lanzerac Pinotage

Originally tasted on 17-Sep-2004 and re-visited this evening.

2000 Lanzerac Pinotage

So I have to admit that in days past, I’ve not thought much of South African wines. They were mostly uneven, unfinished, and unremarkable.

My opinion has definitely hit a little snag as of the date of this tasting. This is the day when Mr. Jeremy Wilkinson, CEO and President of Great Wines International made an impression on our wine club. He presented eight wines of note. I’m going to discuss the 2000 Lanzerac Pinotage in this post, and I’ll present my notes in another or perhaps several posts.

First let me state that Pinotage has never really caught my attention. I’ll refer you to my opening paragraph above, as it was inspired mostly by my past experiences with Pinotage. I’ll even admit that this was only my second favorite wine of eight that we tasted. As some of you know, our club uses a 20-point scoring system, with the following breakdown: appearance-3 points, aroma and taste-6 points each, aftertaste-3 points and overall impression-2 points. This wine scored 18.5 on my score sheet. It was topped by a Port, which I’ll talk about either in a post of all of the other wines, or if I happen to open the one that I bought, then I’ll do a write-up about it.

But for now, back to the wine at hand. Tonight, I tasted it with a beef and cheese chimichanga. I was looking for something that could handle the spice of the meal, and it is much too cold for a white wine. I perused the offerings of the cooler, but when I set my eyes on this Pinotage, I knew that was the choice. I remembered that it had a smoky flavor that would hold its own. I was correct. If you have a chance, try this wine with any spicy southwestern dish. You will not be disappointed.

(Excuse me for a second; my glass is suffering from emptiness…sorry, that is better.)

These notes are from the first tasting.
The appearance – “very dark purple with awesome legs”
The aroma – “chocolate, raspberry” (and tonight, a touch of leather)
The taste – This is huge! “Notes of chocolate in the smoky cedar and leather.” (Did I mention that it is huge?)
The finish – “Great, awesome finish.” “Nice cigar-box and tobacco)

In the end, I’d say that if you are inclined towards big smoky, chocolately Cabernet Sauvignons, that you’d be doing yourself a favor by tasting this one.

As for food pairings other than that mentioned above, I think that it would go well with a nice ribeye steak cooked on the grill, also, it would probably go well with duck and perhaps gorgonzola cheese would work. Oh, I almost forgot, try it with some dark chocolate. The smoke and chocolate work wonders on each other.

If you try this wine and have other pairing suggestions, please pass them to the rest of us.