Ken Forrester Petit Pinotage

Buying wine in Asda is generally a rather dispiriting experience, so I was chuffed to discover Ken Forrester petit pinotage (02004 vintage, synthetic closure). I've enjoyed his petit chenin on several occasions, and since the label design of this pinotage suggests it is the red counterpart to the chenin, I'm guessing this will be a bright, fresh wine for drinking right now.

It is a very dark wine, black cored with a purple rim. The nose is wonderful, very strong and fresh, fruity and smoky. So smoky, in fact, that it reminds me of Islay whisky - Laphroaig to be precise - before evolving into the smell of a smoked ham hough in lentil soup as my Mum used to make it. After I poured the first taste I let it stand while I and I went outside to play swingball in the dark. I mention this because on pouring the second taste both B and I noticed quite a pong about the wine - I thought sulphur, B said fertiliser. I suspect a lack of oxygen in the bottle. Not to worry, for the whiff soon cleared.

The palate is clean, slightly sweet and very fruity, but rather flabby. The label says the wine is soft, but that is too kind. More honestly, the lack of acid is a let down. There is a tasty savoury finish, with a wee core of peppery warmth, then a slightly metallic aftertaste. On balance, then, a fourteen pointer, but all for the nose. One to drink very soon, with spicy food. 14/20.

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