Kanonkop, Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml 2015

South Africa, Stellenbosch
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The Cabernet Sauvignon is released a full year later than the Paul Sauer; perhaps missing its deserved limelight. Kanonkop believes the single varietal requires extra time to integrate before release and there is generally more structure and austerity to the wine. It must also be noted that the best Cabernet Sauvignon does not necessarily find its way into Paul Sauer either. Styling is key and both wines offer the highest quality possible.

We were taken aback by the purity, poise and power of the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon which offers incredibly fine tannins and depth that will match benchmark wines around the world. We aren’t all about the numbers but, when its sibling Paul Sauer receives 100/100 from Tim Atkin, the comparisons will follow. We believe this prodigious wine is a notch-up and it will drink well from 2023 – 2035, perhaps even longer.

At a 30% discount to the Paul Sauer, and half the price of the cheapest Pauillac 5th Growth, we further believe it offers excellent investment potential.

Tasting notes:
‘A Cape classic & consistent top performer in this guide, 5 stars (one of only 2) in the inaugural edition, 2015 makes it 12 maximum ratings total. Refined & sensual rather than austere & cerebral, with forthcoming textbook cassis aromas/flavours, cedar seasoning, polished tannins from 2 years in 50% new oak. Like 2014 (4.5 stars, 94 pts) & previous, has both immediate appeal & minimum 10 years cellaring potential. This range also in formats up to 18L except next.’ – Platter’s Guide 2020, 5* (95/100)

Back to the Cab 2015 and having recently tasted it sighted, I tend to agree with Peens. Matured for 24 months in 225-litre French oak barrels, 50% new, it has an alcohol of 14.5% and I have to say I was expecting a bit of a bruiser. It’s not, however. The nose is just gorgeous with red currant and cassis to go with hints of fynbos and flowers, tea leaf and cigar box. The palate is a revelation – surprisingly medium bodied and possessing lovely energy. With pure fruit, fresh acidity and fine tannins, it really is a most seamless, elegant offering and recalls all the great Kanonkops over the decades. – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 96/100

A wine with this level of anticipation needs time and consideration. This wine was opened and tasted several times over a matter of hours and my conclusions were all the same. We are in the presence of greatness, a creation that is an absolute thing of vinous beauty that is certainly unrivalled in quality since the famous 2004 Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon that controversially trumped the Paul Sauer 2004 to win the Platter Red Wine of the Year. At this super youthful stage of its development, this wine is all about the future potential and not many other South African red wines have the track record that Kanonkop has. From the block buster 2015 vintage, the newly bottled Cabernet Sauvignon reveals an incredibly restrained and self assured bouquet of black raspberries, fallen leaves, wet tobacco, freshly tilled earth and a tantalising note of graphite, Chinese black tea, dried violets and cigar box. Despite its intensity in the mouth, the wine retains a classy and classical textural demeanour with a medium bodied weight but also silky smooth sweet tannins and layer upon layer of crunchy red and black fruits. Incredibly finely proportioned and crisply chiselled, the palate slowly shows extra dimensions of saline cassis, baking chocolate, espresso roast, sweet cedar spice and just the most subtle hints of red plum skins and thyme spice on the finish. Architecturally, this has the shape and precision of a majestic Sir Norman Foster sky scraper that towers above its neighbours. Never over worked, never over oaked, this is surely one of the greatest single varietal Cabernet Sauvignon’s produced in South Africa. – Greg Sherwood MW, 97/100

'In a great vintage, Cabernet can stand by itself,' according to Abrie Beeslaar, and 2015 is certainly up there with the very best of them. For people who missed out on my 100-point rated 2015 Paul Sauer, this gives you an indication of why the wine is so special. Scented, polished and youthful, with the structure and acidity to age well in bottle. Drink: 2021-32. – Tim Atkin MW, 94/100

Kanonkop Estate is situated on the lower slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in the Stellenbosch Region of the Cape and confidently boasts with some of South Africa’s most premium wines. Kanonkop is a fourth generation family estate, which was originally purchased by JW Sauer, a cabinet member in the parliament of the Union of South Africa. This estate has since then been handed down from father to son for over 40 years and is now in the talented, capable hands of its current owners Paul & Johann Krige.

5 days on the skins in open fermenters @ 29°C. The cap was punched down manually every 2 hours. 24 months in 225L French Nevers oak barrels – 60% new and 40% second fill barrels.

Alcohol: 14.70%

More Information
Bottle Size750ml
CountrySouth Africa
RatingPG 95
VarietyCabernet Sauvignon
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