Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage 2013

Heavy calibre.

Heavy calibre.

The Black Label Pinotage 2013 from Kanonkop in Stellenbosch brooks no dissent. From a 61-year-old vineyard, it spent 20 months in French oak, 100% new. Total production: 3 500 bottles, price per bottle R1 350.

It’s a monumental wine with dark fruit (cherry but also blackberry) as well as spice, earth, tar and raw oak. It has huge fruit concentration offset by fresh acidity and seriously grippy tannins – loads of power without being crass. Definitely possesses more grunt than the acclaimed 2012.

Score: 94/100.

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  1. Mike RatcliffeJuly 11, 2015 at 7:31 amReply

    Perhaps it is too cheap?

  2. Grant DoddNovember 10, 2014 at 11:01 amReply

    Is it fair to say that part of the problem with Pinotage is that it is pretty tricky to say what the ‘varietal character’ of the grape is supposed to be?

    • Christian EedesNovember 11, 2014 at 6:10 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Grant, If there’s one category where colour and structure still trumps flavour and freshness then its Pinotage.

  3. Angela lloydNovember 6, 2014 at 5:04 pmReply

    It might possess more grunt – though I’m not entirely sure of that, but it’s also more recognisably pinotage.

    • Christian EedesNovember 6, 2014 at 6:49 pmReplyAuthor

      Hi Angela, The 2013 has an abv of 14.5% compared to the 2012’s 14% – if that means anything. Out of the two vintages, I think I prefer the 2012 (even though I scored the 2013 a point higher according to the almighty 100-point system). Why? Well, I agree with you that the 2013 is fundamentally true to Pinotage while based on my recollection of tasting the 2012 at launch, it starts to transcend variety…

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