The 2014 Barista Pinotage continues Val de Vie’s hot hand with “Coffee Pinotage.” Named after the coffee machine and the attendant who brews and dispenses espresso and lattes, Val de Vie’s 2014 Barista Pinotage tastes like no other Pinotage. In fact, we doubt Barista resembles any other wine you have ever tasted, unless of course that other wine happens to be another special “Coffee Pinotage.” The nearly impenetrable color of the 2014 Barista belies the wine’s soft berry fruit and seductive scent of freshly ground coffee. Blended with the redolence of cranberry, pomegranate and wood smoke, the aroma of the 2014 Barista comes across as both seductive and unique. On the palate, the flavor of coffee becomes even more apparent as does the wine’s deep core of red berries, bacon, wood smoke, and vanilla. Dry and full of flavor, Barista flows gracefully down the throat on a stream of fine grained tannins. If you like coffee, you’ll almost certainly love this wine. And if you don’t drink coffee, you may find yourself changing your mind, especially after allowing Barista a bit of aeration and the opportunity to demonstrate its full array of unique flavors. Enjoy the 2014 Barista Pinotage at cool room temperature (60°- 65° F) now and for the next several years.
Coffee lovers may want to drink the 2014 Barista neat, completely unencumbered by any accompaniment. Barista, however, is not all about coffee; it shines at table in the company of grilled vegetables, creamy casseroles, stews, smoked meats, cheeses, and most especially chocolate. In fact, Barista designer Bertuis Fourie and the folks at Val de Vie serve the 2014 Barista with a Blue Cheese Filled Brandy Snap with Belgian chocolate and roasted coffee beans. Mocha Crème Brulée makes another fine accompaniment. We second the pairing of dark chocolate with Barista, as our own tasting panels have found dark Belgian Chocolate to be a superb companion to this wine. Even the few panel members who at first weren’t quite sure what to make of Barista quickly began singing the wine’s praises in the company of chocolate. Nonetheless, don’t count out the 2014 Barista with any other food you would serve with red wine, especially anything off the grill. Enjoy!
The world of wine is no static domain content to produce only what tradition dictates or consumers demand in mass. Val de Vie Estate and renowned South African winemaker, microbiologist, chemist, oenologist and entrepreneur Bertuis Fourie attest to the excellence and innovation that increasingly dominate the South African wine scene. In creating Barista at Val de Vie in conjunction with Vinimark The Wine Company, South Africa’s largest independent wine wholesaler, Bertuis Fourie has created a “Coffee Pinotage” that is both tasty and unique.
Bertuis Fourie, nicknamed “Starbucks,” for the advancement and innovative contributions he has made to the production of “Coffee Pinotage,” has done more than anyone else to introduce a little known South African specialty to the world. Moreover, he has created a cult following for Barista in just a few short years. But what in the world is a Coffee Pinotage, you may ask?
For starters, Coffee Pinotage contains no coffee or caffeine. It’s 100% wine made exclusively from Pinotage grapes. What imparts the coffee flavor to Barista and all “Coffee Pinotages” are a combination of unique yeasts and specially toasted oak staves used to ferment and age the wine, all of which serve to impart a distinctive but not overpowering coffee tone to complement the rich fruit flavors of select Pinotage grapes. Starbucks and other Pinotage producers look out! Coffee Pinotage may not replace many morning lattes, but it’s also not a flash in the pot or a one hit wonder as the meteoric rise of Barista, one of the best and most affordable of Coffee Pinotages to wash ashore from Africa’s Western Cape, will affirm.
Val de Vie Estate, located in Paarl on South Africa’s Western Cape, has been making wine since 1825. Surrounded by a dramatic mountain landscape and steeped in history, Val de Vie is home to a stunning manor house and newly refurbished wine cellar in a sumptuous French Style. If nothing else, Val de Vie enjoys a reputation as a lifestyle estate. It has earned that enviable repute for catering to the pursuits of pleasure and sport. The estate sports some of the world’s most beautiful polo fields to complement the property’s outstanding food and wine.
Pinotage enjoys the reputation as South Africa’s signature grape variety, even though it represents only a tiny fraction of South Africa’s wine production and it remains relatively unknown outside of South Africa. Developed in 1925 by Professor of Viticulture Abraham Izak Perold at the University of Stellenbosch, Pinotage is a cross between two premium French grape varieties, Pinot Noir from Burgundy and Cinsault from the Rhône Valley. Perold’s original quest was to create a grape with the vigor of Cinsault and the finesse of Pinot Noir. Instead, what has emerged is a wholly unique grape varietal with little resemblance to either of its forbearers. When handled properly, Pinotage produces a richly fruity wine of high alcohol with distinctive smoky flavors that is capable of considerable ageing.
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