Because Pinotage is a unique South African grape variety that only seems to grow well in South Africa, most wine drinkers haven't had as much experience with it as they have with other red wines. The situation for Pinotage is made worse by the fact that South Africans have a love it/hate it relationship with Pinotage: some enjoy its unique flavors while others disdain it because it's not European enough. Pinotage wines are characterized by the cherry fruit flavors of Pinot and the earthiness of Rhone Cinsault.
Pinotage grapes were created in 1925 and Pinotage wines didn't appear on the market until 1941, making it one of the youngest wine varieties around. Created from a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut (Cinsault in Rhone), you have to be careful when picking a Pinotage because quality can vary. In the hands of the right wine maker Pinotage can be a great experience; but if handled incorrectly Pinotage wine can turn out badly. You stand a better chance of getting a decent Pinotage by spending a little more on it.