In many ways Kanonkop is the embodiment of South African Pinotage. From the iconic winery that brought you the Paul Sauer 2015 – the first SA 100-pointer from Tim Atkin – comes the new vintage of their rare Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage 2017.
The Black Label has pedigree like few others. The maiden vintage wine was the 2006. Its vineyard, Kanonkop’s oldest block on the slopes of the Simonsberg, dates back to 1935. The character that these old vines with their ancient roots gives to the berries and the wine, coupled with Abrie Beeslaars’ minimum intervention approach in the cellar, makes for an extraordinarily complex wine – powerful, yet elegant, seamless and balanced.
The 2017 vintage was truly excellent for the Black Label according to Kanonkop cellarmaster, Abrie Beeslaar. Whilst it was the third year of the Cape drought, the ripening months saw cool nights which allowed for freshness and structure amidst the concentration of colour and flavour produced by the small berries and bunches. Kanonkop wines are known for their graceful age-ability. Add a brilliant brand, one of SA’s First Growths, the exceptional 2017 vintage, and the scarcity of this wine and you have a sound investment.
Kanonkop, Black Label Pinotage 2017
This vintage is very, very impressive – a return to form after the slightly unconvincing 2016 and just a little behind the magisterial 2015. The nose shows red and black cherries, plums and hedgegrow fruit, fynbos, tilled earth and attractive oak-derived characteristics including vanilla and cinnamon – it’s deep and very alluring. The palate has huge fruit density – sweet in the best sense, almost liqueur-like – but there’s also bright acidity and the tannins are firm and pleasantly chewy. It’s a real statement wine – powerful but composed and built to last. – Christian Eedes, 95/100