And Here’s To You, Dr. Robertson
With the lifting of apartheid-era sanctions in the mid-1990s, and especially so in the last decade or so, wines from South Africa have become more evident in the nation’s wine shops.
But, the South Africans are certainly not wine-making neophytes. The first vines were planted in the western Cape by early Dutch settlers in 1655, and Robertson Winery was established in 1941.
Robertson sources fruit from 43 growers cultivating 4700 acres which stretch from the banks of the Breede River to the lower slopes of the Langeberg Mountains. The diverse soils allow Robertson to site their many varietals in optimum growing conditions. After harvest, the winery adheres to a philosophy of minimal handling and gentle processing, in a state-of-the-art cellar that was completed in 2000 to accommodate the growing demand for their wines.
Phanto Ridge Pinotage 2004
Unlike Meritage, Pinotage is a grape, a cross between Pinot Noir and Hermitage. The Phanto Ridge is easy-drinking, garnet-colored, and relatively light on the palette with just a hint of sweetness.
Pair this pleasant wine with grilled (but not too spicy) chicken, fish, or vegetables.
This Gewürz nicely balances its sweetness and acidity. Too sweet to accompany dinner for all but the white zinfandel crowd, this wine would be best after dinner; serve it with mild hard cheeses and just about any fruit.
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