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wine of the week 22/02/2009

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  Fairview (South Africa) Pinotage 2007
Pinotage doesn't often make Wine of the Week, so it is nice to be able to recommend this example from Fairview Estate, one South Africa's most popular producers. Pinotage - a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault - is not everyone's cup of tea. Some can exhibit acetone and metallic aromas and a slightly bitter character that many find unpalatable. But the best Cape winemakers have discovered that lowering the crop in the vineyard and changing the way they ferment the wines can result in deep, flavourful wines with no flaws that also have a unique Pinotage signature. This has cherry and black berry fruit on the nose, a little hint of orange peel and some coffee and chocolate beneath. On the palate it is dry and savoury, the firm-edged tannins giving a bit of muscle and heft to ripe berry flavours and the juicy cherry acidity cutting through some spice and toast on the finish. This may not be the most profound example of this variety, but it displays Pinotage's freshness well and might just convert some sceptics. £8.50-8.99, Cooden Cellars, Flying Corkscrew, Hennings, Highbury Vintners, Arthur Rackham, Bradgate Wines Direct.