07 October 2019

Kanonkop Pinotage Tasting at Vivat Bacchus

To London’s Farringdon Vivat Bacchus Restaurant and Wine Bar for a tasting of five Kanonkop Estate  Pinotages from 1993 to 2000.

There are 14 of us in the lower basement room. Our host is South African owner Gerrie Knoetze. The bottles, which come from the restaurant's cellar, were opened an hour before the start of the 7pm tasting.

We have a fresh ISO glass for each wine, which are served in turn. All wines are the Estate bottling.

Gerrie starts with a brief history of wine in the Cape, Pinotage and Kanonkop.

Gerrie Knoetze

1993 – it’s hard to realise this wine is 26 and a half years old. It has good colour though fading and light bodied. It’s quite austere, offering flavours of dried fruit, leather and tobacco.

1995 – slight vegetal nose, light bodied but lots more fruit on the palate. With time in the glass, and returning to it we are surprised how it has opened and added mocha to its flavours
1997 – touch of mustiness on the nose, and colour is fading. While there’s richer fruit flavours, this tastes older and more closed

1998 – darker colour, cedar wood, strawberry and cherry tastes, enjoyable drinking

2000 – tastes young, fresh rich deep colour, beautiful sweet berry fruit flavours.

A vote on the favourite wine of the night was split between the 1998 and 2000.

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