Saturday, May 13, 2023

O'Leary Walker 2022 Pinotage


You don't find many wines made from the pinotage grape in Australia. A cross of pinot noir and the French grape variety cinsaut, it is hugely popular in South Africa where it is a best seller for many well-known labels. It was created in the 1920s by Abraham Izak Perold, the first Professor of Viticulture at Stellensbosch Univerity, one of the world's great wine schools. Quite a few South African pinotages can be, how shall we say, rough around the edges, but this one - inspired by a visit to the Cape winelands - is a very smooth customer. Clare Valley vignerons O'Leary Walker are best known for their refined and superb value rieslings, and this is a new string to their bow, made from vines planted just six years ago. Think the soft, flesh approachability of gamay or pinot meunier, then throw is some savouriness and texture on the palate. Something different that is well worth exploring. It paired well with a classic meat pie. $30. 

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