Flagstone Wines simply lets the creativity flow and awakens the wordsmiths within us with their Writer’s Block Pinotage 2018.
As with any of Flagstone’s wines, I was endlessly fascinated by the ink-splattered label, and beautifully apt named bottle. The wordplay intrigued me, as it was clever and innovative. That, and I adore an aromatic Pinotage, especially now as the days draw shorter and nightfall beckons us to savour a glass of red.
I was generously gifted one of these stunning bottles from my Flagstone Wines family. It could just be the thing to spark new inspiration and warmth in my heart cockles.
When they named Writer’s Block, they needed a creative solution to delineating this single block wine during a period when South Africa’s laws prevented single-vineyard designation on bottles.
A single block is special because it is a pure expression of that corner of the world for a particular year. It is a description of time, manner and place – a confluence of nature. Flagstone wanted to communicate this to wine drinkers, to let them in on this restricted information because single-vineyard wine is a story about a relationship, the marriage of a piece of land to a single varietal soul-mate. The name Writer’s Block tells that story.
They’ve been using a special block for this Pinotage for nearly two decades. The highest vineyard in the area, planted in ancient, decomposed granite soil, right up against the slopes of the Waaihoek Mountain.
They hand-pick the concentrated bunches of this block over a few days, rather than weeks, because of the relative uniformity of the soil. After caring for the vines and keeping the fruit healthy through ripening they let it hang longer than most Pinotage in the area, teetering on the very edge of cultivation while reckoning with birds and baboons who have an eye for the delicious berries (press release).
Click here to read my review on Flagstone’s Treaty Tree White Reserve 2018
and Treaty Tree red blend 2017!
Flagstone Wine’s Writer’s Block Pinotage 2018
South Africa’s signature varietal, there is nothing that comes quite close to a single block Pinotage. Having undergone its fair share of worldwide criticism, new ways of expressing Pinotage has brought us to the tail-end of a Pinotage renaissance today. Pinotage became juicer, plumper and fruitier, with the aim on showcasing the gorgeous red fruit flavours and earthier, darker undertones.
I’m a great fan of this varietal, and particularly of a single block expression. Deep red and alive with possibility, it slowly seeps through your veins and fills you with a glow that radiates from the inside out.
Tasting notes: On the nose a wonderful, balancing of ripe, dark red fruit like mulberry
and blackberry, with mocha chocolate and Indian spice, underpinned by a bewitching hint of bramble and mint.
In the vineyard: 100% Pinotage
In the cellar: Barrel Fermented & matured in 63% American, 32% French and 5% Hungarian oak
Ageing potential: 5 – 10 years
Cellar door price: approx. R290 a bottle, available from Norman Goodfellows, Wine.co.za and the Flagstone Cellar Door in Somerset, including the online shop.
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: I sought inspiration from the humble cheese and charcuterie board. My absolute Kryptonite, this simple offering is one of my favourite pleasures in life.
Inspiration between glasses and plates
To give the Writer’s Block Pinotage the full spotlight it deserves, I stripped my cheese platter from all the frills. Alongside rich slices of good quality coppa, bresaola and salami, I carefully selected a few rich and creamy cheeses. A handful of salty, herby crackers and plump dark-purple olives in lemon oil completed the setting.
The Tall Hedonist soon settled in with a couple of themed books as we sought inspiration inside glasses of Pinotage and between alternating bites of salami and wedges of edam. Any inkling of writer’s block that I might have had, disappeared quickly as the night drew longer; as did the olives.
If you want to be incredibly indulgent, you could add some dark chocolate blocks as a sweet after dinner treat. Perfect with Pinot.
Other great pairings would include game, lamb and even curries. This is a well-balanced, lusciously versatile wine that will pair beautifully with most hearty dishes.
Inspiration can be drawn from anywhere; the swirl of wine in a glass, the texture of a ciabatta bread, between the pages of a glossy book. Personally, I find most of my inspiration in the harmonies created between food and wine and I must say, Flagstone’s Writer’s Block Pinotage 2018 makes a great conductor.
Thank you, Flagstone Wines, for always inspiring me to be more creative, especially with a glass of your wine in hand!
Join the Flagstone Wine Club, Annual membership is free. Your only commitment is to buy 24 bottles of wine per year, at a discounted price http://www.flagstonewines.com/wine-club/
Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated / credited, are also my own.
The Little Hedonist endorses responsible drinking.
Don’t drink and drive. Not for persons under 18.