The 2017 Barista Pinotage continues Val de Vie’s hot hand with South Africa’s signature grape variety. In fact, the 2017 Barista Pinotage is the finest example we have tasted of Barista’s special Pinotage, which says a lots since our experience spans a string of impressive vintages of this wine. Named after the coffee machine and the attendant who brews and dispenses espresso and lattes, Val de Vie’s 2017 Barista tastes like no other Pinotage. In fact, we doubt Barista resembles many other wines you have tasted. Bold smoky aromas and flavors waft from the glass the moment the 2017 Barista Pinotage is poured. Roasted coffee, dark chocolate and deep dark fruit flavors explode in the mouth. Hints of mulberry and pomegranate join a smorgasbord of savory sizzling bacon scents and slow roasted barbeque flavors to delight the palate. Long, dry and profound on the finish, the 2017 Barista Pinotage 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 to unfold in the glass, as each sip offers something unique and special, and not just coffee. Enjoy the 2017 Barista Pinotage at cool room temperature (60°- 64° F) now and for the next several years.
Coffee lovers will not be the only people enamored of the 2017 Barista Pinotage as this wine is not all about coffee. In fact, the 2017 Barista Pinotage shines at table in the company of grilled vegetables, creamy casseroles, pork barbeque, stews, smoked meats, cheeses, and even chocolate. Some of Bertuis Fourie’s favored pairings with his unique Pinotage include Crispy Pork Belly with beetroot relish and young vegetables, Duck Breast served with a mixed baby green salad and a potato stack, and Braised Lamb Shoulder over long grain rice with red cabbage and kimchi – all of which make our mouths water, too. We would also like to second the pairing of dark chocolate with Barista’s Pinotage, as our own tasting panels have found dark Belgian Chocolate and hand-crafted chocolate truffles to be superb complements to the Barista Pinotage. Not surprisingly, the folks at Val de Vie serve the 2017 Barista Pinotage with a Blue Cheese Filled Brandy Snap with Belgian chocolate and roasted coffee beans. Even a couple of the panel members who were not quite sure initially of what to make of Barista quickly began singing the wine’s praises in the company of chocolate. However, this wine is more than a superb accompaniment to chocolate; it pairs beautifully with many kinds of food, including spicy Asian and North African specialties. 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, 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 distinctive but not overpowering coffee and dark chocolate tones 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 pan 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 attest.
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. Recently, some premium South African Pinotage producers have introduced what it affectionately called “Coffee Pinotage,” a unique 100% Pinotage that offers a distinctive coffee flavor to complement the grape’s rich fruit. A combination of special yeasts and toasted oak barrels or staves is responsible for the wine’s coffee flavor.
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