05 February 2019

Platters 5 Star Pinotages


To South Africa House. This  imposing building standing on the corner of The Strand overlooking Trafalgar Square.

Wines of South Africa have managed to assemble most of the 2019 Platter Guide’s Five Star wines for a tasting.

It is wonderful to have the opportunity to sample these outstanding wines, but I am rather disappointed that Pinotage is represented by just four. And of all the great winemakers crafting excellent wines from this most South African cultivar, those four wines are the work of just two of them.

  • Anrie Truter for Beyerskloof Diesel 2016 and Beyerskloof Faith 2014 Cape Blend.
  • Abrie Beeslaar for Kanonkop Black Label 2016 and his own label Beeslaar 2016
L>R Beeslaar, Diesel, Kanonkop, Faith
I tasted the Beyerskloof Diesel 2016 at the beginning and noted its tautness and recorded that it needed time, but I retasted it just before leaving for home and it had blossomed offering sweet fruit, blck plums and berries.

Beyerskloof Faith 2014 is a blend of 34% Pinotage, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot and is gorgeous, balanced, ripe black fruit underscored by Pinotage sweetness. This was Platters Wine if the Year in the Red Blend with Pinotage category.

Kanonkop Estate Black Label Pinotage 2016, is made by from barrels selected from some of the oldest Pinotage in existence and priced in the UK at an eye-watering £140 per bottle. 

By definition it’s a statement Pinotage, made for long term aging. But here, almost 3 years after the grapes were picked and thus in its youth its showing well. Restrained power, yet it has a freshness and purity of fruit. Eighteen months in new French oak barrels have been seamlessly absorbed and its good drinking, but I think its glory days are to come. This was Platter’s Pinotage of the Year.

Beeslaar 2016 is made with grapes bought by Abrie from a single vineyard. This was the most approachable of the Pinotages, open and floral with soft sweet fruits and a refreshing finish.

Thanks to WoSA for assembling so many stars in one place. Platter 5 Star wines are rare. Out of 9,000 wines assessed for the guide the top rated ones are tasted again blind by all the judges to decide which get the coveted 5 Stars. The top scoring wine in each category becomes Wine of the Year. 


Christian Eedes reviews the 2017 vintage of Beeslaar Pinotage here.


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