Lanzerac Pinotage 1993

By , 21 July 2023



If what you do is more important and shows your intentions more clearly than what you say, then the Pinotage Association yesterday hosting a five-course lunch at the excellent Cape Town restaurant Aubergine to announce the Vintage Pinotage Excellence Awards sponsored by Absa went a long way to positioning this as serious wine competition.

Wines had to be 10 years or older and there were 30 entries in total with 14 wines being honoured, these being:

Beyerskloof Diesel 2013
Rijk’s 2013
Beyerskloof Reserve 2012
Simonsig Redhill 2012
Diemersfontein Carpe Diem 2012
La Cave 2012 (Wellington Wines)
Beyerskloof Reserve 2012
Lanzerac 2012
Lanzerac Pionier 2010
Lanzerac Pionier 2008
Flagstone Writer’s Block 2006
Kanonkop 2005
Lord Neethling 2000
Lanzerac 1993

Some general observations: The wines were generally intact but not many of them had become that much more interesting than they would’ve been on release. Still, Maya Angelou’s observation that “You can’t really know where you’re going until you know where you have been” applies.

Most of the wines were in a particular style, which is to say made from full-ripe grapes and heavily oaked – the Diesel 2013, for instance, having an alcohol of 15.5% and matured in 100% new oak for 20 months. Dense and smooth textured, it wasn’t entirely without freshness. I rated it 91/100.

If fruit power is the desired goal, then nobody does it better than Kanonkop and the 2005 (alcohol: 14.7%) was one of my two favourite wines of the day. Complex aromatics with top notes of dried flowers and fynbos before red and black berries while the palate was well-balanced, layered and long. A wine that gave the sense of much still to come in terms of its development. CE’s rating: 95/100.

The question that this line-up posed was whether or not Pinotage allows a different stylistic interpretation that can result in excellence and here my other wine of the day, namely the Lanzerac 1993 was instructive. Made by Stellenbosch Farmers Winery, Platter’s suggests that only 25% of the wine would’ve been matured in oak while alcohol on the label is indicated at a mere 12%. The nose showed rose, red cherry and spice while the palate had impressive clarity of fruit and bright acidity, the tannins nicely resolved. A wine that’s not going to gain any further complexity but so charming and lively 30 years from vintage. CE’s rating: 95/100.


1 comment(s)

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    Gareth | 21 July 2023

    Fascinating article, and great news for those of us cellaring Kanonkop Pinotage. This tasting must have been a real treat

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