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20 award-winning wines to celebrate International Pinotage Day

This Saturday 10 October 2020 is International Pinotage Day. Discover South Africa's signature grape variety with 90+ point Pinotage wines from the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards...

Pinotage, a cross between Cinsaut and Pinot Noir, is a red South African variety developed in 1924 by Professor Abraham Perold.

Largely ignored for half a century, South Africa’s signature variety began gaining recognition internationally in the late 1980s, but still remains predominantly grown and produced in South Africa.

Difficult to grow, hard to vinify and marked for a potential burnt rubber character, Pinotage is a variety that has its disparagers, but when produced well South Africa’s national variety displays a range of red and black fruits like plum, currants, cherry and blackberry, banana and herbaceous characters. It gains additional complexity when aged in oak with notes of smoke, spice and chocolate.

Learn more about Pinotage

Scroll down to see the top 20 Pinotage wines from DWWA 2020

Now in its sixth year, International Pinotage Day (celebrated on the second Saturday in October each year) aims to highlight this uniquely South African variety, and with results recently announced for the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards, what better way to celebrate than with an award-winning Pinotage – tasted and assessed by some of the world’s top wine experts.

DWWA 2020 Regional Chair for South Africa Greg Sherwood MW says ‘South Africa, in my opinion, is making the most exciting wines of any New World country at the moment… South Africa’s time is most definitely now.’

Decanter Premium – Syrah vs Shiraz: 30 great buys from South Africa

Search all DWWA 2020 results from South Africa

Discover benchmark examples of Pinotage with these 90+point wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards…

For more information on International Pinotage Day and how to take part in events on the day, visit the Pinotage Association’s website here.

DWWA 2020: Top South African Pinotage

(select the wine of interest for wine details and stockists)

Survivor, Reserve Pinotage, Swartland 2017

Silver, 94 points
Intense dark fruit and sweet spice aromatic profile, cooked blackberry and dark cherries. Rich and full with mouth coating breadth.

Hazendal, Pinotage, Stellenbosch 2017

Silver, 93 points
Freshly baked forest fruit tart aromas plus a touch of orange peel. Freshness and elegance on the palate.

KWV, The Mentors Perold, Coastal Region 2017

Silver, 93 points
Gorgeous black cherry, cassis and coffee bean on the nose. Fine, elegant tannin with earthy complexity, fresh long finish.

Survivor, Pinotage, Swartland 2018

Silver, 93 points
Appealing nose of cherry yogurt with blackberry and mulberry flavours plus black tea. Touches of earth on the palate.

Wildekrans, Barrel Select Reserve Pinotage, Bot River, Walker Bay 2016

Silver, 93 points
Brooding nose of black plum, blackberry with a more exotic twist of pomegranate. Velvety texture with soft oak spice.

Painted Wolf, Guillermo Pinotage, Swartland 2018

Silver, 92 points
Dark, savoury plummy nose with earthy hints and spice. Dark fruit core, generous tannin and mineral finish.

Piekenierskloof Wines, Johan Van Zyl, Old Vine Pinotage, Piekenierskloof, Citrusdal Mountain 2018

Silver, 92 points
Nose of strawberry and stewed plums, spicy oak and touches of earth. Open tannin with impressive fruit concentration.

Definition, Pinotage, Voor Paardeberg, Paarl 2018

Silver, 91 points
Perfumed nose of bramble and cardamon backed by damson and dried fruit. Intense on the palate with a chewy feel.

Lievland, Bushvine Pinotage, Paarl 2018

Silver, 91 points
Lovely nose of mulberry, cherry with touches of cedar and black tea. Fresh on the palate with crunchy tannin.

Spier, 21 Gables Pinotage, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2016

Silver, 91 points
Intense and attractive nose of black cherries, sweet spice and blueberry lift. Bursting fruit palate, crunchy tannin and smoky finish.

Asda, Extra Special Fairtrade Pinotage, Breedekloof 2019

Silver, 90 points
Delicate yet precise nose of strawberry, cherry and floral aromas. Round and fleshy texture with a generous spicy finish.

Cloof, Winemaker’s Selection Pinotage, Darling 2017

Silver, 90 points
Lifted aromatic nose of plummy fruit, mulberries and cocoa. Crunchy tannin with dried fruit character, savoury to the finish.

Drakenskloof, Pinotage, Western Cape 2019

Silver, 90 points
Lush and dense nose with black cherry lifted by blossom and violets. Full bodied and suave style with heady warmth.

Klein St., Pinotage, Western Cape 2019

Silver, 90 points
Brooding, dark aromas of black cherry and chocolate. Round and ripe on the palate with expressive fruit and structured finish.

KWV, The Mentors Pinotage, Coastal Region 2017

Silver, 90 points
Dense bramble nose with hints of smoke and spice. Succulent and supple in the mouth with creamy oak to finish.

Meerendal Wine Estate, The Heritage Block Pinotage, Cape Town 2016

Silver, 90 points
Aromatic nose with raspberry, stewed plums and sweet spiced oak. Earthy character, soft mouthfeel and a smoky finish.

Meinert, Printer’s Ink Pinotage, Stellenbosch 2017

Silver, 90 points
Deep nose of cooked black fruit with savoury spices. Flamboyant on the palate, generous ripe tannin and long finish.

Morrisons, Pinotage, Western Cape 2019

Silver, 90 points
Attractive nose of black and blueberry fruits and vanilla pod spice. Assertive tannin matched be dense black fruit and juicy acidity.

Morrisons, The Best Pinotage, Swartland 2018

Silver, 90 points
Intricate nose of blackberry, cherry and damson with touches of wild flower and polished wood. Sleek and juicy palate.

Riebeek, Cellars Collection Pinotage, Swartland 2018

Silver, 90 points
Attractive nose of blue and black berry spice, black cherry and a vanilla pod. Round and supple texture finishing fresh.

See all DWWA 2020 Pinotage results

Read more – South Africa: DWWA 2019 award-winning wines to drink now

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