Illustrating the ability of South African wineries to produce wines of true structure, while also highlighting the challenges of New World pinot noir, only a dozen of the 36 wines entered for the second Winemag Pinot Noir Report, in conjunction with Tonnelliere Saint Martin, scored 90/100 or more.
The top-scoring wine, and recipient of a barrel by Tonnellerie Saint Martin, was Creation’s The Art of Pinot Noir 2015 (above), made from a single vineyard in the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge. Described as having “black and blue berries, some musk, earth, vanilla and spice, rich but balanced with layers of flavour – dense fruit and racy acidity before a long, dry finish making for a sumptuous drinking experience”, this wine ultimately impressed judges and was awarded an overall score of 93/100.
Although the Hemel-en-Aarde is traditionally regarded as South Africa’s “pinot noir country”, the Elgin wine region produced half of the top pinot noirs in the report, with Iona 2013, Kershaw Elgin Clonal Selection 2017, Stonebird 2016 and Sutherland Elgin all scoring 93/100.
Christian Eedes, Editor-in-Chief of Winemag.co.za, highlights the artistry associated with pinot noir in his full Pinot Noir Report: “If making fine wine is something undertaken against the odds, then particularly so when it comes to making fine pinot noir under local conditions. Still, the variety is steeped in romance (because of its association with its traditional home of Burgundy, perhaps the most romantic wine region of them all) and punters seem prepared to pay a premium for wines from this variety as a consequence.”
The full results of the Winemag Pinot Noir Report can be viewed on https://winemag.co.za/tonnellerie-saint-martin-pinot-noir-report-2018/.