If you sit in the open-sided deck restaurant, with the Kanonkop hill in the distance (photo on SpittoonExtra) at your feet lies the ‘field’ a mixed planting of vines that goes into the companies Bordeaux-style Field Blend.
Their pale, peachy, refreshing, sparkling Pinotage Rosé Brut washed down a plate of superb garlic snails beautifully while a selection of older Pinotage’s and various Cape Blends vintages, tasted in the cellar with Beyers Truter himself, were very interesting. The latter come in various mixes – the 2006 Synergy comprises 43% Pinotage, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Shiraz and 7% Merlot compared to the 2001 Synergy being 55% Cabernet, 37% Pinotage, 8% Merlot and 14% ‘others’. Basically they are still experimenting with these! I didn’t enjoy the older vintage, I have to admit, the reductive edge on the nose dominatated but perhaps I’m just more susceptible to those aromas as my tasting partners enthused.
The Field Blends are certainly worthy of trying. They age beautifully too. The 1995, which my notes contradictorily say is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, had a gorgeous perfume, complex with tobacco-edged age. Little stock remains but it is available on the restaurant wine list. The 2001 was luscious with a vailed smoothness from the addition of Merlot. I didn’t catch the blend details but the 2006 has 60% Cabernet Sauvignon coupled with 40% Merlot.
According to our host Pinotage works wonderfully in a blend with Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Merlot, however, is not a great working partner. No stainless steel tanks for Pinotage either, rather the grapes at Beyerskloof see open, concrete, fermenters, a little temperature control and manual punching of the cape by hand.
While age worthy it is the younger Pinotage single varietals that impressed during the cellar tasting. With ripe, sweetish upfront fruit, good structure and length they have structure and drinkability with the Beyerskloof Reserve Pinotage being singularly impressive.
Current prices for the Beyerskloof range, as listed by SAWinesOnline are:
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