One major wine region that I’ve severely neglected on this site is South Africa. It’s not intentional. There’s just so much good wine from elsewhere that my taste buds have been preoccupied. But it’s time to give South Africa a taste.
I’ve heard from some of my wine-geek friends that South African wines are something to rave about. But I honestly haven’t tasted many of them in my life and don’t know much about the region. So you can learn along with me as I explore South Africa — or help educate me if you’re already a knowledgeable connoisseur of these wines.
The wine I’ve tasting today comes from the Kanonkop estate, a fourth generation family-owned estate that produced its first estate-bottled wine in 1973. It’s located in the Stellenbosch wine region, which is the largest wine region in South Africa. It has a Mediterranean climate and is becoming and a wide range of soils. The region is gaining a reputation for exceptional cabernet sauvignon.
This wine is a blend of 57% pinotage, 26% cabernet sauvignon, 14% merlot and 3% cabernet franc.
The name Kanonkop means “Canon Hill” which come from a time when canons were fired to signal the arrival of Dutch trade ships in the Cape Town harbor. And I think this is the first wine I’ve tasted that features weaponry on the label. Hey, that’s much better than cute critters.
This wine has sultry red berry aromatics with a spicy edge. It’s absolutely beautiful on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied and has a perfect balance of earthiness and fruitiness. It offers spicy red raspberry and cherry flavors, layered with nutmeg and minerals. The acidity is superb and the mouthfeel is nice. The finish is relatively long. Overall, this is a fantastic wine and an extraordinary value!
If this is what I can expect from South African wines, I’ll definitely need to dig deeper into this region.
Wine: Kanonkop Kadette
Variety: 57% pinotage, 26% cabernet sauvignon, 14% merlot, 3% cabernet franc
Find Kanonkop Kadette with Snooth
Disclosure: This wine was received as a sample.