One of our favorite wine sources over the last decade+ has been South Africa, especially with the growth and discovery of new producers from evolving regions like the Swartland and Walker's Bay. But it is also important to keep in mind the Old School that helped to open the doors that those from the New School have walked through so successfully. After the fall of apartheid in 1994, the opportunity to export wines increased dramatically and the majority of quality wine producers were centered in Stellenbosch, who were in the best position to be introduced into the newly available world market. Most people's opinions on South African wines were formed in the late 90s, and in many instances it wasn't for the better as most wineries struggled to catch up to modern techniques and technology. Kanonkop was among the first producers to make their way over, known as one of the handful of family run estates still operating in South Africa, and was among the first to bottle a varietal designated Pinotage. There is a very good chance that for many of you old enough to have been drinkers in the late 90s that an early bottle of Kanonkop Kadette was your first taste of South African wine. And even after all these years ad the emergence of all the 'critter labels' and other value producers, it still remains one of the best examples of what's good about the traditional South African style.
Made primarily from Pinotage with a balance of Bordeaux varietals, the wine is deep and youthful in color with an aroma full of deep plummy fruit. The well known Pinotage gaminess (which, in the bad or under-ripe examples, can veer over to the realm of burning tires) is in perfect control, just enough to let you know where the wine is from and provide some character. On the palate the fruit is very rich and polished, much like a similarly priced Bordeaux but with finer tannins, as well as the Pinotage showing a hint of extra meatiness through the finish. If you like something a little more savory and unique for your meal, perhaps doing some dish a little wilder than usual like deer or rabbit, a wine like this is tailor made to make it an even more memorable experience.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!