After tasting through a variety of rather poor new releases (no names, no pack drill), I lost patience and decided to open a bottle of Pinotage 2006 from Kanonkop in Stellenbosch, a wine which won Vertias double gold as well as placing among the Absa Top 10 in 2011.
Despite an abv of 14.5% and maturation (termed “breeding” on the back label) lasting 16 months in 225-litre French oak, 80% new, it’s by no means a monster of a wine. On the nose, plums, red cherries, a little incense-like fragrance, earth and spice. The palate meanwhile was medium-bodied with pure fruit and fresh acidity, the tannins already quite soft and mellow. I’m sure it will go for yonks but equally I wasn’t too regretful about opening it now.