30 November 2020

WoTM - Babylon's Peak The Wedge Pinotage 2018

 My Wine of the Month for December is The Wedge Pinotage 2018 (WO Swartland).

I've had a couple of Pinotages this month that were new to me and which I won't be buying again,  but will be getting more of this one.

The Wedge is named after a California beach by Newport Harbour famed by surfers for huge waves which can reach 30ft high.

The Wedge has its own website www.thewedgewines.com which lists five wines under The Wedge's retro surfing labels, but the wine is made by Babylon's Peak winery.

This is the first wine I've had from this winery, and wow! Dense black red colour, intense in the glass with black cherry and damson flavours with a thread of mocha and black chocolate. Really exciting.

So how come I hadn’t encountered this winery before when that label says Est 1925 and the website of Babylon's Peak says Anno 1919? The family may have started farming then but the high A number (A1062) shows they are recent and Platter says they started making wine in 2003.

14 November 2020

Kanonkop Black Label 2018 - Video

Kanonkop Cellar Master Abrie Beeslaar announces the launch of the 2018 Black Label Pinotage, with a tasting note and a bit of history about how and why Kanonkop decided to bottle their old 1953 vineyard separately as Black Label.

The winery made this video restricted. Click on the link to view it on YouTube

The fact sheet for Kanonkop Estate Black Label 2018 is here.

13 November 2020

Platter 2021 5 Star Pinotages

The Platter Guide to South African Wines has announced its 5 star wines in the forthcoming 2021 annual guide, the 41st, to online subscribers.

All are listed by Angela Lloyd, the Guide’s longest serving taster, here.

Six Pinotages and two Cape Blends received the 5 Star accolade. They are


1953 Single Vineyard Pinotage 2018

Pinotage Reserve 2017  


Diesel Pinotage 2018


Vera Cruz Pinotage 2017


Pinotage The Journal 2018

Pinotage Reserve 2019  

Cape Blends

Beyerskloof   Faith 2016

KWV The Mentors Perold 2017


04 November 2020

Boxed Beyerskloof Pinotage

Woolworths in South Africa are the first, as far as I am aware, to put Pinotage in a bag in a box (BIB). It's their exclusive Reserve Collection label from Beyerskloof. It's been long available  by the 75cl bottle at R99.99, now it also comes in a 2 litre BIB for R189.99, saving R70 

As to what is in the smartly cream labelled Reserve Collection, only Beyerskloof and Woolworths know, but I would guess it's similar to the Reserve Selection sold in the UK which is a mid-point between the stave-aged white label and the barrel-aged black labelled Reserve and is a blend of both.

03 November 2020

Kanonkop Black Label 2018

 Emile Joubert of Wine Goggle got to taste the newly released 2018 vintage of Kanonkop's "Rare. Expensive. Luxurious." premium Black Label Reserve Pinotage.

He came to the  wine "with nervous trepidation. 2018 was a bugger of a vintage, the preceding five years of drought and heat surely having taken a toll on the vineyard, which was 65 years old at the time of harvest. "

But "the experience on the mouth was wonderful. Plush, satin and velvet come to mind, but not of the easy and comfortable and overtly-luxurious kind. 

The tannins have settled, making the experience broader and Rubenesque. Those familiar flavours of honeyed-prunes, damp autumn bark and sappy mulberries are pushed to the fore, gracefully balanced on rounded, muscled hips cloaked in fresh linen."

Kanonkop Black Label Reserve Pinotage 2018 is available from the winery at R1,900 (around GBP 91, USD 119)

Read the full review here.