South African based Aaldering Vineyards & Wines will launch a Pinotage Rosé 2021 special edition magnum this March. Presented in transparent glass bottles for the first time, the wine’s vivid colour is complemented by an illustration by Dutch artist Maureen Knobben. Chief winemaker Reinhard Odendaal spoke to db about the project.
Can you share more about the launch of the limited edition Aalderin Rosé 2021?
The new release is themed around the concept of “Women of the World”. We commissioned the famous Dutch artist, Maureen Knobbe, with the idea of celebrating women from around the world by painting a woman from a different country each year and using it as our label. The 2021 Rosé was our maiden vintage of this project and features a Dutch woman on the label. We launched the wine in April 2021 and it was well-received in the markets with people loving the design of the bottle and more importantly, the wine inside it.
Can you tell us more about the vintage?
The 2021 vintage was a cooler vintage with higher-than-average rainfall in the growing season, leading to a longer ripening time and high fruit aromas and flavours – more fruit-driven Rosés with higher natural acidity.
Does it remind you of any previous vintages?
Thanks to Global Warming, every vintage is so different now, but if I were to look back at the years the conditions were about the same as the 2017 vintage which was a really good vintage in Stellenbosch and South Africa in general.
Is it challenging to make a Pinotage expression of Rosé?
Pinotage is a cultivar that separates the men from the boys. In order to make good Pinotage on the red wine front, you have a short fermentation period in which to extract colour, flavour and tannins. This means very little sleep during fermentation as you work day and night to achieve this. Tannin management is also important and the time you choose to press the wine is crucial. On the Rosé front, the cultivar is a bit more forgiving but tannin management and avoiding excessive colour extraction must be closely monitored.
Do you think the market has a big appetite for pinotage rosé?
Definitely. We are seeing big growth in the space and the consumer seems to love the red berry and candyfloss aromas that the variety is known for. It’s a wonderful style if you know how to work with it and being South African I’m really proud of what it is doing in the international markets and how the Aaldering Team is helping its reputation internationally.