A wine with this level of anticipation needs time and consideration. This wine was opened and tasted several times over a matter of hours and my conclusions were all the same. We are in the presence of greatness, a creation that is an absolute thing of vinous beauty that is certainly unrivalled in quality since the famous 2004 Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon that controversially trumped the Paul Sauer 2004 to win the Platter Red Wine of the Year. At this super youthful stage of its development, this wine is all about the future potential and not many other South African red wines have the track record that Kanonkop has. From the block buster 2015 vintage, the newly bottled Cabernet Sauvignon reveals an incredibly restrained and self assured bouquet of black raspberries, fallen leaves, wet tobacco, freshly tilled earth and a tantalising note of graphite, Chinese black tea, dried violets and cigar box. Despite its intensity in the mouth, the wine retains a classy and classical textural demeanour with a medium bodied weight but also silky smooth sweet tannins and layer upon layer of crunchy red and black fruits. Incredibly finely proportioned and crisply chiselled, the palate slowly shows extra dimensions of saline cassis, baking chocolate, espresso roast, sweet cedar spice and just the most subtle hints of red plum skins and thyme spice on the finish. Architecturally, this has the shape and precision of a majestic Sir Norman Foster sky scraper that towers above its neighbours. Never over worked, never overoaked, this is surely one of the greatest single varietal Cabernet Sauvignon’s produced in South Africa. Wine Safari Score: 97/100 Greg Sherwood MW
WINEMAKER: Abrie Beeslaar
VARIETAL: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
ORIGIN: Simonsberg, Stellenbosch
CLIMATE: A warm, dry winter with hot days during the picking season
AGE OF VINES: 26 years on average
IRRIGATION: Combination of dry land vineyards and supplemental irrigation
SOIL: Decomposed granite, Hutton and Clovelly soils
YIELD: 4 tons/ha – 2750 litres/ha
VINIFICATION: 5 days on the skins in open fermenters @ 29°C. The cap was punched down manually every 2 hours.
MATURATION: 24 months in 225L French Nevers oak barrels – 60% new and 40% second fill barrels.
FOOD SUGGESTION: The perfect partner to steak, classic beef dishes, casseroles and lamb stew.
AGEING POTENTIAL: This wine will benefit from further bottle ageing for up to 20 years from vintage.
Free SO2: 30
Total SO2: 95