12 February 2010

Pinotage Party - Beyerskloof 2008 - Kanonkop 2006

Encouraged by Dezel's Pinotage Party I opened a Kanonkop 2006 and Beyerskloof 2008

Beyerskloof Pinotage 2008 with its white label is the standard bottling from Pinotage king Beyers Truter's winery. The 2008 example is just delicious with bags of ripe blackberry and strawberry fruit and soft tannins on the finish. This one is lovely to drink on its own and it makes a cracking match with a takeaway from the Indian restaurant. I love this wine for its sheer drinkability. It is classic Pinotage.

Pinotage 2008
WO Stellenbosch
abv 14%

Kanonkop Estate is probably the most famous Pinotage producer internationally. From the time they started bottling their own wines more than forty years ago they have specialised in only a few wines and varieties of which Pinotage is one. They were among the first to plant the variety and now have one of the oldest Pinotage vineyards planted with sixty-year old gnarled stubby bush vines on a low clay hill.

Winemaker Abrie Beeslaar (pictured right)Abrie Beeslaar in the old Pinotage vineyard is only Kanonkop’s third winemaker and he smoothly took the baton from Beyers Truter and ran with it, winning the IWSC International Winemaker of the Year award in 2008

2006 was a good vintage. I first tasted this at the winery on release in March 2007 and I was delighted with it. In June 2008 I said it was “showing all the signs of being another cracker. It is elegant, showing restrained berry fruits, balanced by tannins and fruit acids,” and I purchased a couple of cases intending to age them.

Opening this bottle for Dezels’s Pinotage Party I was struck first by its inviting mulberry bouquet. But on the palate is seemed to have closed up. The spicy berry flavours, so noticeable when it was young, were subdued. What we had here was a medium bodied, well balanced beautifully coloured restrained tight wine, enjoyable and serious but not as exuberant as I’d like. The maturation chart on the back label (see below) shows 2010 as the year it should reach optimum drinking, but I think I’ll age it more for maximum enjoyment.

Kanonkop Estate
Pinotage 2006
WO Estate Wine Simonsberg-Stellenbosch
14.5% abv


  1. Hello Peter,

    Thanks for participating in the Pinotage Party! Both of these selections sound really nice. Does the latter need decanting? What are my chances of finding those wines here? Thanks


  2. Wow pete, that tasting note has just persuaded me to go and buy a couple of bottles of kanonkop (not that one should need persuading) - and better yet, organise a pinotage party here in cape town! what a great idea!

  3. Go ahead Brendon -- lets have another Pinotage Party :) Remember to send me details