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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday Review: Stellar Organics Pinotage

Stellar Organics Pinotage, $10.49/750ml
By Doug Dorda

It is long time that I have sought to become more familiar with the wine selection that we offer at Siciliano's. Indeed, I admit, I am the person at the store that will often stare blankly into the face of someone who asks for a wine suggestion while fielding their request to Sarah (our resident wine guru). In accordance with my own wishes, then, and to further better myself within the realm of viticulture, I have taken it upon myself to become increasingly educated about the commercially available wines we have to offer, as well as their historical and regional significance. It is my hope that you will take this journey toward education with me.

Very recently a group of friends and I held a harvest dinner in which we showcased the bounty or flora and fauna that the fall season has to offer. “Perfect!” I thought to myself, what a way to begin the arduous journey of understanding the wines that had so eluded me in the past. After a time of dutiful research, I selected the Pinotage from Stellar Organics winery as it seemed a perfect pairing to the various dishes that would be served. According to Stellar, the wine pours an intense plum red color that extends to the edge of the glass. Cherries and vanilla may be found on the nose, and they will carry through as taste on the palate. The slightly wooded wine would then offer hints of spice and robust tannins that would add to its complexity. You might imagine my salivary glands going wild as I imagined enjoying such a beverage while at the same time enjoying a savory Turdeken and a vast wealth of hearty fall offerings.

The time had come for my own assessment. The wine indeed pours a haughty plum red that elicits memories of deep sunsets in the fading moments of twilight. The nose is a symphony of rose, black currant and middle eastern spices that are offset gently by a touch of woodsy vanilla. The taste is one that has captivated my mind since first sip. Tannins clutch at the tongue for a moment or two, then slowly let slip the dogs of dried fruit. Cranberry, cherry, and raisin coat the mid palate while a softness is delivered from the wood. The whole of the effect is like biting into a gourmet torte that is serves alongside a cappuccino – there is almost a lingering roasted nuttiness that accompanies the off/dry finish. This wine paired beautifully with savory foul, quinoa gorgonzola dishes, and every helping of pumpkin desert that could fit onto a plate. It retails at Siciliano's for $10.49.

A quick delve into the history of the particular grape varietal reveals that the grape was originally grown as an alternative to the pinot noir grape which did not show favorable growth in South African climates. In fact, pinotage owes its lineage to pinot noir itself. Since its inception in 1925, the grape has gown to become a well respected and award-winning base for wine that is growing in large favor throughout the wine drinking masses. Personally, I can not wait to try all further offerings that I may come across in the future.

A note on Stellar Organics: This is a company that will truly appeal to all who seek out products that are ethically produced, and organic to boot. I will not attempt to tell you their story when they do such a fine job of telling it themselves. They also offer a nice compliment of sulphite free wines!

Turducken

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