Single 38-ha plot of 66-year-old, dry-farmed bush vines on decomposed granite and Hutton soils, harvested at 2.8 t/ha. Fermentation in open concrete fermenters at 28 °C, with manual punch-downs every two hours. Juice drawn off skins after three and a half days. 18 months in new, 225-litre French Nevers oak, mainly from Vicard. 6,900 bottles made.
Mid-deep purple. Embryonic, with some floral notes, smoky hints and jammy blackberry alongside vanilla cream. Blue fruit and blackberry, with high, grippy, grainy tannins that are currently gum-puckering. Great length. This needs much time to come together, but it’s pretty fine stuff.
Drink 2030 - 2045
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com (May 2022)
About this WINE
Kanonkop was part of the Uitkyk farm and the inheritance of the former South African Prime Minister Paul Sauer. Today the estate is owned by his grandsons and is synonymous with Pinotage. The grape, which is a crossing between Cinsault and Pinot Noir, was planted for the very first time in this farm.
Kanokop winemaker Beyers Truter is South Africa`s Pinotage king. Beyers has been known to state that, were he not married to his wife Esme, he'd be married to Pinotage. He uses fruit from mature bush vines and exposes the wine to high amounts of new oak in maturation. Beyers Truter produces wine that rival the very best in the world. For the quality, they are ridiculously good value for money.
Stellenbosch is South Africa’s best-known wine region, producing a wide variety of wines from leading estates, even though it accounts for less than 20 per cent of the country’s total production. Designated wards within the wine region are Jonkershoek Valley, Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Bottelary, Devon Valley and Papegaaiberg.
At 17,500 hectares, Stellenbosch remains the Cape's most famous and important fine wine district, thanks to its proximity to Cape Town, to the cooling influences of False Bay, its mountainous (ie Helderberg, Simonsberg), granitic topography and its centres of learning such as Elsenburg Agricultural College.
Created by Professor Perold in 1925 by crossing Cinsault and Pinot Noir, Pinotage is South Africa's trademark black grape. It took a long time for quality orientated producers to latch on to the grape`s potential - in the 1970s it was still being grubbed up in favour of more fashionable grapes. However it is now much in demand, partly due to South Africa`s export boom of the mid 1990s, and because of the Pinotage Producers Association which as well as vigorously promoting the grape, conducted vital research into clones, vine disease and vinification methods.
There is light, soft, easy drinking Pinotage that can be excessively jammy and is made for drinking young. However the more serious examples such as those from Kanonkop are produced from 50- year old unirrigated bush vines and are increasingly matured in new French and American barriques. These are full-bodied, rich, concentrated wines that are packed with ripe, spicy, black fruits and have the ability to age with grace.