Abrie Beeslaar has followed in the legendary footsteps of Jan ‘Boland’ Coetzee and Beyers Truter, whose reputations were largely built on making Pinotage at Kanonkop. This South African First Growth is the very embodiment of Pinotage globally and their old-vine cuvée, Kanonkop Black Label, is the pinnacle of their aspiration.
Always impressive, the 2018 Black Label Pinotage was remarkable when tasted again last week. In a word, the 2018 is beguiling and is more perfumed and elegant compared to the rich and powerful 2017. It is full-fruited with attractive oak and baking spices, following on to a smooth, lush palate with a harmonious, creamy texture that leaves a lasting impression of luxury. Tilled earth, complex autumnal aromas plus notes of graphite and toasty oak are balanced by juicy, red and black fruit and lifted florals. Vibrant and bold to start, the tannins and acidity are pitch-perfect, pulling the wine together into a well-knit whole. It is an emphatic expression of luxurious wine of the highest quality and promises excellent ageing potential.
The Black Label has a pedigree like few others. The maiden vintage wine was the 2006. The vineyard, which is Kanonkop’s oldest block on the slopes of the Simonsberg, was 65 years old in 2018. These old vines imbue immense character from small concentrated berries and, coupled with Abrie Beeslaar’s minimum intervention approach in the cellar, makes for an extraordinarily complex wine – powerful, yet elegant, seamless and balanced.
The wine will be available for delivery after 1 November 2020.
Kanonkop, Black Label Pinotage 2018
Serious, smoky, dark and brooding, this old-vine cuvée is always one of the best Pinotages in the Cape, with a price tag to match. Intense, concentrated and with a beguiling combination of red and black fruits, scented new wood, a slight volatile lift and plenty of underlying structure. Drink 2022-30. – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2020, 96/100