What is Pinotage? | Kanonkop Wine Estate
What is so special about South African wine or what is different in South African wine compared to the rest of the world? Have you ever heard of a varietal known as Pinotage? Pinotage was created in 1925 when a South African scientist (Abraham Perold) was attempting to develop a new varietal similar to Pinot Noir that would be able to survive the harsh climate in South Africa. Pinotage is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut.
If you want to try Pinotage then you need to try the wines from Kanonkop Wine Estate. Kanonkop is 100% one of the "Godfather's" of the Pinotage varietal. Kanonkop comes from the Afrikaans word 'kopje' which means hilltop, from which a cannon was fired in the 17th Century to alert farmers of new trade ships docking in the Cape.
If you can read the quote above the door frame below it states "Pinotage is the juice extracted from women's tongues and lions' hearts. After having a sufficient quantity one can talk forever and fight the devil."
That being said the winemaker, Abrie Beeslaar, is making some fantastic Pinotages out of this beautiful estate situated on the lower slopes of Simonsberg Mountain in Stellenbosch. But he is making more than just Pinotage wines. His Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux Blend are absolutely killer wines that if you can find them are more than worth the price point!
Enough about that, here are the wines we were able to taste at the estate!
Slightly orange pink. Nose was clean, fresh and contained some light spices. Additionally this has a ton of lighter tropical fruits such as melons and guavas. Slightly metallic attack. Crisp with low acidity (4/10) which could easily be masked by the temperature this wine is served at (46°F). Has a little bite and a little spiciness. Light body but is very well balanced. Nothing overpowering that gives us a migraine. Dry and clean finish. This would be a great summer picnic wine. The color comes from 2 hrs on the skins.
2015 till 2017.
Price Point:$ - Tasted at the Estate. R50.00 or $3.33 as of 12/19/2015.
Garnet Red. Nose was a little dirty initially with notes of hay. Additionally had some undertones of light red fruits. Lots of red cherries on the palate. Moderate tannins (5.5/10) and a light to moderate body. Lighter finish but the tannins stay strong throughout. This is one of the entry level wines from Kanonkop. Could possible benefit from aging, max 5 years.
2015 till 2020.
Price Point:$ - Tasted at the Estate. R80.00 or $5.33 as of 12/19/2015.
Crimson Red. Nose had lots of dark fruits, such as plums and mulberries. Very interesting, on the palate there are red fruits not dark fruits. Crisp and refreshing. Moderate tannins (6/10) and moderate body. Clean and moderate finish. Same age ability as the cape blend but slightly better. Definitely an amazing QPR (value) wine!
2015 till 2017.
Price Point:$ - Tasted at the Estate. R90.00 or $6.00 as of 12/19/2015.
Ruby red with purple rim. Lovely nose! Savory with meaty notes. Vanilla from the new oak and lots of dark fruits. And lots of chalk! Heavy tannins (8/10) with a full body. Very furry and makes you pucker. Actually quite refreshing. Very long and lingering full powerful finish. We only picked up the 2006 at the estate and thank goodness they sell the 2013 here at home! Very powerful and will easily age and will only benefit from aging. Absolutely delicious!
2015 till 2035.
Price Point:$$ - R280.00 or $18.67 as of 12/19/2015. Goes for around $38.00 in the USA.
Garnet Red. Nose contained slight hints of tea leaves, slight cassis and a lot of smoke. Heavy tannins (7.5/10) and a full body. Lots of red cherries and slightly tangy. Sandpaper mouthfeel. Dry finish. Long and lingering finish. Tannins are heavy throughout. Built in the French style, nice and dry. Not fruit forward or silky at all. Can easily age for 20 years. This wine is fermented in open top fermentors. Kanonkop continues to surprise with these powerful wines. A must stop location in Stellenbosch.
2015 till 2035.
Price Point:$ - R300.00 or $20.00 as of 12/19/2015.
The Paul Sauer is a Bordeaux Blend made of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot. From the start we knew this one was going to be a killer, 24 months in 100% new medium toasted French oak. Wine was crimson red. Nose was smokey, a little dirty and chalk with medium intensity. Palate started off a little tight. Then started to open up with lots of red cherries. High tannins (7.5/10) making it super furry and full body. Very powerful and long, lingering finish. One of the powerhouse Bordeaux blends out of South Africa. Absolutely delicious. Easily worth an American or French bottle at two to three times the price point...possibly even four times the price. Amazing QPR (value)! Wish we had space to pick some up.
2015 till 2037.
Price Point:$$ - R430.00 or $28.67 as of 12/19/2015.
A nice surprise at the tasting today. Wine garnet red with some bricking around the edges. Absolutely loved the nose on this one. Very savory, meaty notes and mesquite smoke. Was very surprised with the amount of tannins and body still in this nine year old wine. Moderate tannins (6/10) and full bodied. Very well integrated and savory. Solid acidity and all fits very well together. Long and lingering finish. A lot more approachable than the 2013. Of course a lot softer tannins and more integrated. Can easily last up to another 10 years but would be perfect before 2020.
2015 till 2026.
Price Point:R370.00 or $24.67 as of 12/19/2015.
Kanonkop Estate is a must visit estate in Stellenbosch. Let us know if you have any questions or where to try and find these wines! Till the next post!