Kanonkop Pinotage 2019

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Kanonkop Pinotage, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2019   

Grape: 100% Pinotage, 63 year old unirrigated, estate grown, bush vines, 16 months in oak

Intense purple hues. The nose is beautifully aromatic with scented aromas of redcurrants, macerated cherries and cinnamon spice. The palate displays a silky tannin structure, backed by a fine seam of acidity. Subtle vanilla undertones from the integrated oak profile are juxtaposed against a fruit explosion of wild bramble, plums and blackberries. An elegant wine with lingering flavours of juicy, dark plums on the finish, and a lifting underlying freshness.

Fermentation took place in open concrete fermenters at 28°C. The cap was punched down manually every 2 hours and the juice was drawn off the skins after 3 days. The wine was matured for 16 months in 225L French Nevers oak barrels – 80% new and 20% 2nd-fill.

Kanonkop is situated on the lower slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in Stellenbosch, from where it produces award-winning wines. A fourth generation family estate, it was originally purchased by JW Sauer (a cabinet member in the parliament of the Union of South Africa) and has been in the family ever since, now in the talented hands of its current owners Paul and Johann Krige and winemaker Abrie Beeslaar. 

Listed as a ‘first growth’ by Master of Wine, Tim Atkin, Kanonkop is famed for its red wines, particularly Pinotage, which makes up 50% of vineyard plantings, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon (35%), Merlot (7.5%) and Cabernet Franc. The name Kanonkop was derived from a kopje (hillock), from which a cannon was fired in the 17th century to alert farmers in outlying areas that sailing ships plying the waters between Europe and the Far East had entered Table Bay for a stopover at Cape Town. Paul Sauer 2015 is the first South African wine to be awarded 100 points in Tim Atkin MW’s South African Report.

2019 vintage Pinotage awarded 94/100 points by Tim Atkin MW

Also highly recommended by the Wine Advocate (USA):

"The 2019 Pinotage has an oak-driven nose with spiced plum compote, black cherries, a floral essence and a kiss of volatility. Medium to full-bodied, the wine is generous on the palate and offers a sweet frame of oak with vanilla and spiced cherries before offering juicy yet rustic tannins across the mid-palate. The Pinotage concludes with a long, spicy and savory finish that needs at least one more year in bottle."

93+/100 points, Anthony Mueller, Wine Advocate, September 2022

Drink with aromatic curries, barbequed venison and beef, grilled game fish such as tuna, roast duck with berry sauce and pork belly.

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Additional Details

Drinking well now
Influence of Oak:
South Africa
Primary Grape/Blend:

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