The Painted Wolf wines of Jeremy and Emma Borg have done a great deed in bringing attention to the plight of the African wild dogs as well as carrying over into other animal conservation programs. Money raised from the sales of the entire Painted Wolf portfolio are used to bring to note the plight of Africa’s wild animals, in particular its wild dogs. A noble cause in its own right, but the more important thing to note is that they are making some very compelling wine which makes it a lot easier to focus on a project when one of your pillars for success is ensuring that the end product is more than just a marketing gimmick or packaging.
Painted Wolf has slowly positioned itself as producing one of South Africa’s better versions of the varietal with their Guillermo Pinotage, named in honor of grower Billy ‘Guillermo Hughes, who supplies a major portion of his organic grown Swartland grapes for the wine. The current release 2020 Guillermo, which has a splash of Syrah in the mix, is a great follow up to the highly reviewed 2019, which was recognized as one of the Cape’s finest, receiving a Top 10 pick in the 2020 Prescient Pinotage Awards. The 2020 Guillermo, which received a 92 pt review from MW Tim Atkin, seems to have a bit more of everything, more spice intensity and fruit density giving more depth and palate weight than the exceptional 2019, with a touch more smokiness as well. For those not familiar with Pinotage this is a great intro, for those familiar with SA’s own contribution to the wine world the Guillermo is definitely worth its price of admission.
92 pts Tim Atkin MW 2022
Guillermo is a 70/30 blend of grapes from the Kasteelsig and Leeuwenkuil farms and is aged in a combination of French, American and Eastern European oak. Smoky, spicy and intense, it partners Pinotage with a splash of Syrah and shows plum and summer pudding flavours, serious tannins and stony minerality. 2023-28
4 ½ Stars 2023 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Always-excellent pinotage honouring longtime grower Billy ‘Guillermo’ Hughes. 20 (90 pts) vibrant & juicy with subtle spice & soft tannins. Blended from BH’s Kasteelsig, with 10% syrah & other Swartland fruit. Wild yeasts, year in 20% new oak, 40% American.
A beguiling wine with rich, spicy red berry and black cherry aromas, evident ripe tannins and a long, complex finish.