Painted Wolf Rosalind Pinotage Rosé 2014: Deep pink-orange color; strawberry nose; strawberry, cranberry, cherry, raspberry on the palate.
Lively, full in the mouth for a rosé, nice tangy notes, fruity, dry, good acidity (3.53 pH), minerality, surprisingly long finish. Made using the saignée or bled method (juice is poured off—bled—early from juice that will be made into red wine; it makes for a darker, more robust rosé).
The pinotage grapes come from Southern Cross vineyard in Paarl, a vineyard of decomposed granite soils, mostly dry farmed, organic. Jeremy and Emma Borg own Painted Wolf. Jeremy has a long career making wine in USA, UK, and South Africa. Emma is a wine photographer and artist.
Labels for their various bottlings feature artist’s interpretations of painted wolves—African wild dogs found in the sub-Sahara. Painted wolves are cousins of the dog you may have in your home; they are members of the genus Lycaon rather than Canis and are an endangered species. Painted wolves have fewer toes and fewer teeth than your dog, and they are hypercarivorous (more than 70% of their diet is meat).
Painted wolves live in packs, and the Painted Wolf winery ties itself to the pack metaphor, calling the various vineyards that supply grapes for their winery their pack. They produce at least one special wine from each vineyard in their pack. Their website explains: “Being nimble and resourceful, our strategy is to share cellar space with winery friends who have excess capacity, in other words to ‘den down’ in other wineries’ cellars. Over our first four vintages we worked in nine different cellars. We work in spaces which allow us to hand punch our red grapes in small open fermenters, and which have small tanks and sufficient refrigeration to allow us to craft small batches of white and rosé wines. For the past few years we have ‘denned down’ in one cellar at which we plan to remain for some years.”
This is tasty, fresh, substantial rosé made from South Africa’s signature grape—one many have never heard of, much less tasted. Run with some wild dogs this summer, give this a sip. $13-14
Painted Wolf Winery
Second photo: Jeremy and Emma Borg