‘Halagahsa’ is a term used in Xhosa (one of the 11 recognized languages in South Africa) to celebrate a goal in sports but in this case is Jurgen celebrating South Africa’s ‘native’ grape variety, Pinotage. Over the years winemakers have produced wines from this grape in the style of more ‘fashionable’ grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. By pushing the delicate grape to those extremes the resulting wine is often void of ‘Pinotage character’ and ultimately becomes benign red wine with that somewhat revolting ‘rubbery-ness’ often confused for Pinotage.
Pinotage is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault…neither of which are bulky or muscular grapes. The fresher approach that Jurgen takes has made this wine absolutely delicious. The grapes come from a single bush vine site on the Paardeberg, planted in 2000, where they were hand harvested the first week of February. The bunches were kept intact and fermented without any additions entirely whole-cluster for eight days under semi-carbonic conditions and pressed a few days later to neutral 225L French barriques. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally and the wine was hit with a small dose of sulfur dioxide at that time. After five months of aging the barrels were racked to tank and left to settle for an additional four weeks. It was bottled without filtration or fining and with another small addition of sulfur dioxide.