There are a lot of haters when it comes to rosé. The poor thing gets slammed for being a sweet, low-alcohol wine with overtly ‘girly’ characteristics. Meanwhile, there are also a lot of Pinotage haters, judging the wine on an outdated misconception about burnt rubber aromas and mass production. But what do you get when you add hate + hate? Like a beautiful mathematical equation, out pops out the positive answer i.e. Pinotage Rosé.
Taking the best from both, Pinotage makes the perfect rosé because it is aromatic and when made into rosé, doesn’t get the tannins and strong flavours that put some people off Pinotage when it’s a red wine. And to us, it’s the drink of the moment. Winemakers countrywide are sitting up and listening to the swell of complex rosés coming out of the cellar, and the best part is that many are using our indigenous grape Pinotage to make the pink drink. Recently, we headed to the epicentre of this combo, the Stellenbosch Wine Valley, and hunted down our top 5 choices in the area:
1) Delheim Pinotage Rosé
Totally swiggable. As we discovered at Delheim’s Garden Restaurant, a masterful match with any meal. Hands down our shared favourite, and well priced at R60 so that even us thrifty sippers can drink it.
2) Warwick First Lady Rosé
We’d describe this 100% Pinotage Rosé as a whisper of grape juice infused with water i.e. it is super light, and a really good wine for someone who doesn’t like acidity or tannins but still wants to enjoy a frosted glass on a warm day. Best thing is that it comes in magnum size – we skipped away with a 1.5L at R180.00.
3) L’Avenir GlenRosé
You had us at your bottle. With a stunning moulded protea bottle base, and at R200 a pop at cellar door, this isn’t a cheapie, but it sure is a single vineyard goodie.
4) Kanonkop Kadette Pinotage Rosé
Kanonkop is hailed by many as the home of Pinotage. It makes sense then that they craft a delightfully aromatic Pinotage rosé which has a fuller body than others. If you’re into juicy flavours of strawberry and raspberry, at R55.00 a bottle (cellar door), this is your choice.
5) Beyerskloof Pinotage Dry Rosé
The Beyerskloof Pinotage Dry Rosé is a nostalgic one for us – with sweeter notes of candyfloss and strawberry jam it takes us back to student days, when life was simpler and ripe, fruity rosé was an accessible introduction to wine. That said, this is still an elegant wine and at R55.00 a bottle, also kind on the pocket.