The search has been on for a number of years for a signature "Cape blend" to match the great blends of Bordeaux. Whilst the academic debate over the composition of the "definitive" "Cape blend" wages on, we at Clos Malverne are a staunch proponent of Pinotage as the favoured blending partner of the "Cape blend."
Pinotage commands a strong loyalty among devotees. It is our national grape and its innate wildness symbolizes the ruggedness of Africa. Further, many consumers abroad prefer blended Pinotage to the single variety. Alone it is perhaps a bit rough for some genteel Euro centric palates that make up most of our export markets. Their palate appears to favour Pinotage that has been tamed by other noble varieties.
Our definition of a "Cape blend" is any red wine blended with significant portion of Pinotage. (The statutory minimum portion of a variety to be mentioned on the label is 20% according to the regulations set by the South African Wine & Spirits Board) Pinotage is a uniquely South African grape variety and was bred by the late Prof A I Perold in 1925 as a cross between Pinot noir and Cinsaut, then locally known as Hermitage.
A patriotic Cape blend must thus surely be infused with the pertinence of Pinotage.