Wine Review: MAN Family Wines Bosstok Pinotage 2020
This is a lovely wine that is not commonly reviewed. The grape used has an interesting bit of history that makes it unique, as well as originating in a part of the world that is not often considered when shopping for wine.
Pinotage is a specific grape and wine with origins in South Africa. A cross of Pinot Noir and Cinsault (Hermitage) grapes, its origins lie in the gardens of scientist Abraham Perold, who was trying to solve the problem of Pinot Noir grapes struggling in the South African climate. ”Bosstok” refers to the untrellised bush-vine vineyards. These makeup more than half of the vineyards in the region. The bosstok Pinotage vineyards grow close to the ground and produce fewer more flavorful grapes. They are an extremely dark grape, which caused early usages to be stretched thin, producing less than stellar commercial wines. Within the last 15-20 years, producers banded together to reduce crop yields and increase the quality of the wines through careful winemaking techniques.
MAN Family Wines Pinotage is sourced from older vineyards in the Western Cape. It is a beautifully rich, garnet-purple wine. When the light passes through it on a swirl, it dances through it, bringing a well-cut natural gemstone to mind. On the nose, the first notes are of subtle roses, cherries, and dark berries, with a hint of vanilla and subtle smoke underneath.
The first impression on the palate is slightly juicy, with a relatively full body. It’s only slightly acidic, with a mild vanilla and nutmeg note, accented with a hint of minerality (like a well-balanced dessert pastry). This makes it a beautifully complex drink that is worth sitting down and taking time to savor, with each subsequent sip revealing the notes slightly differently as the wine spends time in the air.
The best expression of the flavors for this wine is when served on the cooler side of room temperature. When served too cold, the flavors don’t present themselves well. This would pair well with barbecue or heartier dishes.