Saturday, August 8, 2015

So, this $20 South African Pinot is Legit

I love South African wine. Since a three-week trip there in 2014, I've been dreaming of going back for more waves, wildlife and wine. In the meantime, I try to seek out some of the South African wines that make it across the Atlantic.

Cellar door prices in South Africa (especially with the strong dollar) are beyond reasonable considering the quality of many of these wines. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to find those exciting, terroir-driven wines in the States. 

But here's one such wine. A 2012 Lothian Pinot Noir from Elgin, a ward of the Western Cape's larger Overberg wine district. Here, in a region known for apple orchards, the combination of ocean and mountain influences provide a cooler climate that begs for Pinot Noir.

And, holy shit, the price is right. $20? I taste a lot of delicious American Pinot Noir, but I can't remember a $20 American Pinot that was nearly this delicious and complex.

2012 Lothian Pinot Noir Vineyard Selection - South Africa, Overberg, Elgin
SRP: $20
Medium ruby color. Nose of tart red currants, raspberries, add in tobacco leaf, black pepper, rose potpourri, rhubarb-spice. Medium-plus-bodied, medium-plus acid, moderate tannins with some softness around the edges. Black cherries add to the juicy red berry fruit. Hints of toast and coffee mix with rose hips, rhubarb, white pepper, soy and spice. Juicy, forward, yet complex and it maintains the elegant appeal. Aged 11 months in 20% new oak. (90 points)

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