From this iconic winery comes the new vintage of their rare Black Label Pinotage. In many ways Kanonkop is the embodiment of South African Pinotage. The 2017 is rich and full-fruited with loads of vanilla and cinnamon, leaving a deep, rich and luxurious impression. The palate is plush and sensuous with powerful tannins that drive it to a long, lingering and classy finish. It is clearly very young, but should easily last for 20 years and beyond. This is an emphatic expression of luxurious wine of the highest quality.
Stellenbosch Cabernet has never been healthier. As the ‘king of grapes’, Cabernet is the back bone of our most long-ageing reds and is, once again, at the centre of SA fine wine. With the formation of the Stellenbosch Cabernet Collective, there is a renewed energy and focus. It is no surprise that Abrie Beeslaar, winemaker at Kanonkop, speaks of the immense effort that has gone into ensuring that the 2014 Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon is on par with its famous siblings. Classic in style and deftly handled, this is pure Stellenbosch Cabernet that offers great value and has it all – cassis, earthy complexity and a leafy lift that adds freshness.
Kanonkop, Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Pure Cabernets are surprisingly hard to find in Stellenbosch, such is the growing fashion for Bordeaux blends, but this comparatively large volume example is scented, leafy and refined, with tobacco pouch and wild herb aromas and some of the cool elegance of the 2014 vintage. Drink: 2020-2028. – Tim Atkin MW, 94/100
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
When it comes to Pinotage, there may certainly be bigger wines, bolder opulent wines or more funky wines on the market but nothing ticks all the fine wine boxes like Kanonkop Black Label…. What Abrie Beeslaar has created in this vintage is a marvel to behold marrying new world hedonistic opulence with old world, Bordeaux’esque delineation and structure…. But the stand out quality of this wine is undoubtedly the bright, crunchy yet sultry saline acidity that leaves you coming back for one sip after another. The lasting impression of this wine on the palate is the vitality, precision, knowhow and authority that beam from the glass akin to facing down a glass of Romanée Conti Burgundy. But I’ll stop there… the rest is up to you… the consumer! Dive in now or over the next 20+ years. – Greg Sherwood MW, 96/100