Kanonkop new releases
By Christian Eedes, 20 July 2023
Kanonkop in Stellenbosch celebrates 50 years this year – in 1973, the cellar crushed 1 000 tonnes of which 200 tonnes went under own label, first bottlings consisting of single-variety Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage. Today, 3 000 tonnes are processed, 580 from the estate and the rest from 22 different growers across the district.
Winemaker Abrie Beeslaar, who joined in 2002 and took over full-time the year after, says that whereas the approach in the past was “all about analysis, being exact and precise”, the intention is to be more holisitic in the future – environmentally conscious farming practices, ecological restoration, sustainability, and worker upliftment.
Tasting notes and ratings for the new releases as follows:
Kanonkop Pinotage 2021
Matured for 18 months in 225-litre barrels, 80% new. Enticing aromatics of violets, black cherry and plum plus hints of vanilla, toast and spice. The palate has good fruit definition, bright acidity and firm but not coarse tannins. Full-bodied but simultaneously balanced and lively. Flavourful and long on the finish, this is a wonderfully composed vintage. Alc: 14.28%.
CE’s rating: 95/100.
Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Matured for 24 months in 225-litre barrels, 50% new. Very fragrant on the nose with top notes of flowers and herbs before red and black berries plus attractive oak-derived aromas of vanilla and spice. The palate is medium-bodied with great clarity of fruit, fresh acidity and fine tannins. A wine of finesse and detail. Alc: 13.68%.
CE’s rating: 96/100.
Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2020
69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc and 14% Merlot. Matured for 24 months in 225-litre barrels, 100% new. Primary aromatics with top notes of rose, fresh herbs and incense, the fruit is more red than black, some rubbery reduction in the background. The palate is medium bodied, even quite slight by comparison to the great vintages of this wine – no shortage of freshness, the finish gently savoury. Alc: 13.5%.
CE’s rating: 93/100.
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