#333 Snow Mountain Reserve Pinotage 2021


Did you know…

…that the past 6 years of ABSA Top Ten Pinotage Lists has not featured a single wine with alcohol below 14%. The average ABV across the sixty winning wines between 2017 and 2023 was 14.6%.


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The middle of the road…less travelled

We’ve spent a lot of time debating the merits of the two opposite sides of the Pinotage style spectrum. There is the super-ripe, brick-wall-iof-black-fruit, 100% new oak, blueberries-and-sugar-plums, 15.0% alcohol, private-banker-exco-dinner, iconc-style pinotage.
On the other end there is the super-early-harvest, 100%-whole-bunch, raspberries-rubarb-and-sour-cherries, unfiltered, 12% alcohol, hipsters-haberdashery wine-geek-style. And both of these classes have their ardent fans.
BUT…there is a very important middle category that is often overlooked – the medium-bodied, medium-alc, medium-PRICED bottling. Ripe enough to have depth, and restrained enough to show grace. Today’s wine of the day is one such pinotage.

If you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you’ll have to hunt this wine down in your own time. But until then, here are my tasting notes and some technical specs:


👃🏼 oaky vanilla, cedar wood, ripe black sugar plum, black cherry, cherry cola,
👄 Mouthfeel quite bright and fresh. Med-weighted and juicy. Tannins are firm, but pretty well balanced against the ripe Blackberry fruit, prune notes, blackcurrant pastilles, some spice, but then brighter raspberry too. which is quiote nice.


🔬 Wine of Origin Western Cape (Wellington). 100% Pinotage. The grapes were harvested from  a bishvine vineyard that is about 0.8ha in the block.  The vines were planted into decomposed granite, in the wine ward of Wellington. Vines sit at an altitude of about 390m above sea level. The yield per hectare was a fairly low 6 tons per hectare. 
In the cellar, there was a fair deal of berry sorting on the go, and the final selection underwent cold-soaking, before being fermented in stainless steel tanks, with regular aerated pump-overs. The wine was then racked into french oak barrels before undergoing malolactic fermentation and a 9-month barrel maturation. It was bottled without any filtering.
Total Prod: 2100 bottles | Alc 14% | Res Sugar 3.4g/l | Total Acid 5.7g/l | pH 3.63 |
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