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South African Pinotage: panel tasting results

Our second ever Pinotage tasting (and first in 22 years) was a huge success, with judges praising the significant evolution found in an extensive line-up.

Greg Sherwood MW, Victoria Mason and Roger Jones tasted 142 wines, yielding an impressive seven Outstanding and 69 Highly Recommended.

The Pinotage panel tasting scores

142 wines tasted
Exceptional 0
Outstanding 7
Highly recommended 69
Recommended 59
Commended 7
Fair 0
Poor 0
Faulty 0

Entry criteria: producers and UK agents were invited to submit their latest-release 100% Pinotage still red wines from any region in South Africa.

The cliché of Pinotage being a real ‘Marmite’ wine is definitely starting to fade as more producers continue to craft high-quality wines. More than anything, thanks to wide-scale plantings and parcels of older vines, Pinotage wines exude a true sense of place, with the best examples grown on all three of South Africa’s main soil types; ancient sandstone, shale, and decomposed granite.

Scroll down for the top-scoring Pinotage tasting notes and scores

See the top-scoring Pinotage wines from the panel tasting:

The judges

Greg Sherwood MW is a London-based South African Master of Wine and fine wine buyer at Handford Wines. He publishes his Fine Wine Safari blog at gregsherwoodmw.com, and was the DWWA 2021 Regional Chair for South Africa.

Roger Jones is the retired former owner of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn restaurant in Wiltshire. Now busy as a wine writer, judge and consultant with a particular focus on the hospitality trade, as well as helping charities, he was a DWWA 2021 judge for Australia and South Africa.

Victoria Mason is a wine buyer for UK supermarket Waitrose, responsible for sourcing its South African range since 2016. First a DWWA judge in 2019, she has focused on the South Africa category in the last two years.

Related content:

Wines of the Year 2021: top-scoring bottles

Roussillon red wines: panel tasting results

Pinotage to change your mind

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