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Award-winning wines to celebrate International Pinotage Day

Discover South Africa's signature grape variety with 91+ point Pinotage wines from the 2021 Decanter World Wine Awards...

Now in its seventh year, International Pinotage Day is celebrated annually on the second Saturday in October.

A cross between Cinsaut and Pinot Noir, Pinotage is a red variety developed in South Africa in 1924, but it was not until the late 1980s that it began to gain recognition internationally.

Predominantly grown and vinified in South Africa, when produced well, Pinotage displays a range of red and black fruits like plum, currants, cherry and blackberry, banana and herbaceous characters, gaining additional complexity when aged in oak with notes of smoke, spice and chocolate.


Scroll down to see the top 18 Pinotage wines plus tasting notes from DWWA 2021


Produced as a varietal wine or as part of a blend, to celebrate this uniquely South African variety, we highlight benchmark examples from the 2021 Decanter World Wine Awards – tasted and assessed by some of the world’s top wine experts.

See below for the 2021 competition’s top 18, the 91+ point Pinotage and Pinotage blends worth discovering this International Pinotage Day and beyond…

International Pinotage Day: Top South African Pinotage wines from DWWA 2021

Coastal Region

KWV, The Mentors Perold 2017

Platinum, 97 points
34% Pinotage, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Shiraz
Blackberry, cherry, and dried Mediterranean herbs on the nose. The palate has pretty notes of blackcurrant leaf, roasted coffee bean, and a lick of black pepper and olive on the finish. Young, with the structure to age.

Francois van Niekerk, Pinotage 2019

Gold, 96 points
100% Pinotage
A full-bodied and brooding wine. Precisely balanced with red cherries, blueberries, coffee, and chocolate with silky tannins and refreshing sour cherry acidity. Serious pedigree here.

KWV, The Mentors Perold 2018

Silver, 93 points
33% Pinotage, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Shiraz
An attractive, dark-fruited wine with assertive tannins balanced with lush fruits, sweet Indian spices, vanilla, and oak.

Bellingham, The Bernard Series Bush Vine Pinotage 2017

Silver, 92 points
100% Pinotage
A dark and brooding wine. Concentrated, tightly-wound fruit flavours; black plum, mulberry, toast, liquorice, coconut. A seductive and appetising wine.

Lievland Vineyards, Bushvine Pinotage 2019

Silver, 91 points
86% Pinotage, 4% Cinsault, 4% Grenache
A fruity melange of red berries and red orchard fruits with a touch of herbs. A well constructed wine.

Durbanville

Diemersdal, The Journal Pinotage 2019

Gold, 96 points
100% Pinotage
Rich coffee and dark chocolate mingling with blackcurrant. Punchy concentration with well-resolved tannins and a zippy freshness with an elegant, effortless demeanor and a seductive finish.

De Grendel, Amandelboord Pinotage 2019

Silver, 91 points
100% Pinotage
A big, bold wine with lots going on. Loaded with plum, damson, black olive, spice, and blueberry candy.

Stellenbosch

KWV, The Mentors Pinotage 2018

Gold, 96 points
100% Pinotage
A benchmark, boutique Pinotage. Sweet blackcurrant and brûléed black fruits woven into powdery fine tannins. The acids are fresh and the fruit purity immaculate. Very impressive indeed.

Beyerskloof, Diesel Pinotage 2018

Silver, 93 points
100% Pinotage
A polished wine with intense, toasty, meaty, piercing dark raspberry and black cherry flavours. A seriously seductive effort.

Beyerskloof, Faith 2018

Silver, 93 points
40% Pinotage, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot
A big, concentrated, and complex wine. Powerful, but with well-integrated tannins. Black fruits, blueberry, cherry, nutmeg, with a touch of allspice.

Stellenbosch 1679, Pinotage 2019

Silver, 92 points
100% Pinotage
A multi-layered and complex palate displaying black and blue fruits, white cherries, milk chocolate, and smoky graphite.

Beyerskloof, Synergy Cape Blend 2019

Silver, 92 points
41% Pinotage, 23% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon
A lovely melange of blue and black berry fruits with a lick of vanilla, cardamom, and bay. Simple but tasty.

Lanzerac, Pionier Pinotage, Jonkershoek Valley 2018

Silver, 91 points
100% Pinotage
Flavours of blueberry, black cherry, mulberry, and toast lead to an elegant and intense palate, showing fine-grained tannins.

Paarl

Perdeberg, The Dry Land Collection Resolve Pinotage 2018

Silver, 91 points
100% Pinotage
Luscious notes of cassis and blueberry jam on buttered brown toast. Soft and generous with wonderful drinkability.

Wellington

Diemersfontein, Carpe Diem Pinotage 2018

Silver, 92 points
100% Pinotage
This is full of blueberry, blackberry, and new oak notes with herbal menthol characters providing an almost refreshing finish.

Doolhof, Dark Lady Pinotage 2020

Silver, 91 points
100% Pinotage
Masses of savoury complexity; cigar box, toast, roasted coffee, coconut and forest floor bring complexity to the vibrant, black cherry fruits.

Breedekloof

Flagstone, Writer’s Block Pinotage 2018

Silver, 91 points
100% Pinotage
Ripe and juicy blackcurrants with crushed dried herbs such as lemon thyme. Good persistence on the finish. Well-integrated oak.

Robertson

Retief, Reserve 2019

Silver, 91 points
50% Pinotage, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Shiraz
A cool, mineral, and restrained style wine with rich black and blue berry fruits which balance the assertive tannins.

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

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