Waitapu Estate ‘Reef View’ Northland Pinotage 2016 and 2015

18-Jan-2018

Pinotage is one of this country’s more interesting varieties trialled over the course of our modern wine industry. It conveniently bridged the gap between hybrid red and noble vinifera wines. Its funky, lifted and savoury, musky characters were reminiscent of the hybrids, but the wines from Pinotage had somewhat more class in comparison. In reality, this vinifera crossing of ‘Hermitage’ and Cinsault, meant as a Pinot Noir/Syrah crossing never has the noblesse of Pinot Noir, Syrah, or any of the classical Bordeaux varieties. Its time in New Zealand was in the 1970s. Although it is very highly regarded in South Africa, in New Zealand it is thought of as special only in Northland nowadays, with Nick Nobilo alsdo continuing to champion it, his being grown in Gisborne.

Eric and Sandra Shackleton of Waitapu Estate near Kaitaia in Northland have Pinotage as a flagship variety along with Syrah. The Pinotage wines I have tasted are flavoursome and have a robust and rustic richness which can be compellingly appealing with gamier red meat dishes. It is in some ways a ‘blast from the past’, but the variety offers an individuality that has its place in today’s wines of elegance and squeaky cleanliness. The Waitapu Estate wines are made at the nearby Karikari Estate. Here, I review the 2016 and 2015 vintages. Both years are regarded by Eric Shacklelton as ‘pretty average’, but not poor like 2017! I found the 2015 wine from a stronger vintage. www.waitapuestate.co.nz


FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW

  • Waitapu Estate ‘Reef View’ Northland Pinotage 2016
  • Waitapu Estate ‘Reef View’ Northland Pinotage 2015

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