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Overview of the Wine
With a reputation for producing some of the Cape’s finest red wines, the heralded Kanonkop Estate is often referred to as a South African "First Growth." The fourth generation family farm, presently run by brothers Johann and Paul Krige, has been owned and operated by the Sauer-Krige family since the early 1930s. The name Kanonkop is derived from a "kopje" (small hill) on the property, from which a cannon was fired in the 17th century to announce the arrival of the Dutch East India Company’s trading ships at Table Bay.
Kanonkop boasts some of the Cape’s first commercially planted Pinotage vines, with an average age of over 50 years. Respecting tradition while embracing the future, Kanonkop fuses age-old wine-making techniques with state-of-the art technology. All of the estate’s grapes are handpicked and sorted. The wines are vinified in open concrete fermenters, using manual punchdowns, and are subsequently aged in French Nevers oak barrels.
Kanonkop continues its long history of excellence under Abrie Beeslaar, winemaker at the estate since 2002. In addition to garnering regular 90+ ratings for his bottlings in such publications as Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast, Beeslaar was crowned the 2008 International Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London, where Kanonkop also received the Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande trophy for the best blended red wine with its Paul Sauer 2003 and the Dave Hughes Trophy for Best South African Producer. In addition, Kanonkop was named "Winery of the Year" and its Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 earned "Wine of the Year" in the 2009 edition of John Platter’s South African Wine Guide – widely recognized as the most authoritative and comprehensive guide on the world of South African wine. Kanonkop Wine Estate was also named the "Most Admired Wine Brand in South Africa" and listed at #32 on the “Most Admired Wine Brands in the World" by #DrinksInternational in 2020.
Grape / Blend
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
The nose is beautifully aromatic, with scented aromas of red currants, macerated cherries, and cinnamon spice. The palate displays a silky tannin structure, backed by a fine seam of acidity. Subtle vanilla undertones from the integrated oak profile are juxtaposed against a fruit explosion of wild bramble, plums, and black berries. An elegant wine of intense purple hues, it lingers at the finish with juicy, dark plums flavors.
93 Points - Vinous
The 2018 Pinotage comes from vines up to 65 years old, cropped at 5 tons/ha, and raised for 16 months in 80% new oak and 20% second fill. There is a little reduction on the nose, though this is brushed away with aeration to reveal black plum mixed with Christmas cake and a hint of licorice; fine delineation here. The palate is medium-bodied with impressive harmony and focus, the oak seamlessly integrated. There is fine backbone to this Pinotage, and a sustained white pepper finish that lingers. Outstanding. Drinking window: 2021 - 2033
92 Points - Wine Spectator
A sleek, medium- to full-bodied Pinotage, rich with baked blackberry, plum pudding and roasted fig fruit, and accents of charred brioche and herbes de Provence. Tightly-meshed and chewy, this would benefit from short-term cellaring. A streak of minerally iron drives the lasting finish.
90 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Displaying a dark ruby core with purple and red hints on the rim, the 2018 Pinotage Stellenbosch opens with a nose of sweet, confected plums, black raspberry, mocha and hints of sweet oak spice. Medium to full-bodied, the wine displays sweet fruit on the palate with a generous helping of 80% new French oak. It ends with sappy plums and black cherry skin flavors that give way to tight tannins that linger on the long finish. There are plenty of winemaking practices happening with the expression that creates an enjoyable experience for the drinker.
Product size: 750ml