Kanonkop, Black Label Pinotage 750ml 2018South Africa, Stellenbosch
The 2018 Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage is one of the Wines of the Year and one of highly-rated Pinotages on Tim Atkin MW's 2020 South Africa Special Report.
The new release of Kanonkop Estate’s icon Black Label Pinotage displays the intensity and concentration of a warm, dry vintage at the end of the severe drought the Cape winelands had been experiencing since 2014. Made from dryland bush- vines planted in 1953 on this world-famous wine estate on the slopes of the Simonsberg in Stellenbosch, Kanonkop Black Label has become known to be the ultimate expression of Pinotage since its maiden release from the 2006 vintage.
'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
'Deep purple colour, with intense floral and perfumed top notes of rose petals, cinnamon spice, black cherries and dark chocolate. The palate is decadently rich and layered, with concentrated flavours of Turkish delight, Maraschino cherries and wild bramble fruit. Seamlessly integrated oak and velvety tannins add support and structure to the sultry fruit core. A big, mouth filling, complex and powerful wine – an iron fist in a velvet glove!' – Winemaker
'2018 was the last year of the punishing five-year drought cycle the winelands experienced,' says Beeslaar. 'The unirrigated vineyard from which the Black Label is exclusively made was 65 years old at time of harvest and gave us an understandably meagre yield of 2.8 tons per hectare. As if the dry vintage was not enough, an unexpected hail-storm on 13 February – just before harvest – knocked about 5% from the crop.'
Beeslaar says that despite the hot days, night-temperatures were refreshingly low, allowing the grapes to regain the freshness lost due to the energy-sapping heat of the long summer afternoons.
'Berries were smaller than usual as the vines dedicated their minimal reserves to smaller growing units, resulting in juice of intensity and concentration, yet broad and balanced with sumptuous flavours and a heady aroma,' he says.
Alc: 14.6% | RS: 2.5 g/L | TA: 5.1 g/L | PH: 3.69
Kanonkop is a fourth generation family estate located on the lower slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in Stellenbosch. With vineyards over 60 years old, award-winning winemakers and a dedication to tradition, Kanonkop has firmly established themselves as one of South Africa’s ‘First Growth’ properties. Their wines are known to last for decades and in many ways Kanonkop is the embodiment of South African Pinotage.
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AG: Antonio Galloni of Vinous.com | AM: Allen Meadows of Burghound.com | CE: Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za | DEC: Decanter | GS: Greg Sherwood MW | JS: James Suckling | JR: JancisRobinson.com | JD: Jeb Dunnuck | NM: Neal Martin of Vinous.com OM: Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show | PG: Platter's Guide | ST: Stephen Tanzer of Vinous.com | TA: Tim Atkin MW | VIN: Vinous.com | WA: Wine Advocate | WE: Wine Enthusiast | WM: Winemag.co.za Report | WS: Wine Spectator