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Kanonkop Pinotage 1997

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Built to last.

It never rains but it pours. Having enjoyed a Kanonkop extravaganza on Wednesday, last night the Pinotage 1997 from this great Stellenbosch property courtesy of my sister-in-law’s significant other.

The mid-1990s was a time of experimentation when it came to Pinotage as winemakers who now had international markets again after political transformation gunned for a more international style. Not all efforts at re-inventing Pinotage were successful and Kanonkop famously didn’t release a 1996, the rumour at the time being that the wine showed excessive bitterness.

The 1997 definitely showed greater fruit concentration and bigger structure overall than the sublime 1993 enjoyed the night before.  Whereas previous vintages  saw only 50% new oak for 14 to 16 months, this was upped to 80% in the case of the 1997, according to the Kanonkop website. On the nose, dark cherry and a slightly acrid note that somehow didn’t detract. The palate was full but balanced and still remarkably youthful. Score: 17/20.

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