Something of a quandry, as the Pinotage has enjoyed great success in a short amount of time but may have had its 15 minutes of fame. A 1925 cross of Pinot Noir and Cinsaut (Called Hermitage in South Africa at the time, hence the name) the Pinotage became THE grape of South Africa. Wines produced ranged from light and fruity and best consumed young to heavy and tannic examples that needed years to reach maturity. Flavors of pepper, black fruits, spiciness and acetone are quite common. But so are descriptors such as barn, horse, game, rustic and even less-pleasant adjectives involving animals. Currently the South African wine market is seeing considerable growth based on the successes of Chenin Blanc and Syrah, this after years of stagnant growth when Pinotage was king.
The best examples of Pinotage still hail from the regions of Stellenbosch and Paarl in South Africa, though the grape has found limited success in California, Australia and New Zealand.