96 pts Tim Atkin MW 2020
Abrie Beeslaar sources his Pinotage from sandier soils than the ones he uses to make Kanonkop’s Black Label release. The result is a slightly brighter, more scented wine with less weight and concentration but engaging finesse and palate length. Silky and supple, it’s a red that shows the Pinot Noir side of the grape’s personality, with fine tannins and sweet summer berry flavours. 2022-28.
4 ½ Stars 2021 Platter’s South African Wine Guide – 2018 Beeslaar Pinotage
There’s plenty of notably sweet flavour, almost jammy richness & density on 18 (92 pts). 40% new oak, strong tannin structure & powerful 14.5 % alcohol gives more blockbuster effect than usual here.
91+ Wine Advocate Issue #253 Feb 2021
Owned and made by Abrie Beeslaar, the 2018 Pinotage displays a dark core with subtle purple highlights. Bursting with oak aromas of vanilla, crème brûlée and oatmeal cookie, the wine is marked with much of the same style of Kanonkop, giving way to a juicy frame with elements of Chambord, crème de cassis and macerating berries. Generous and full-bodied, the palate is rich, luscious and powerful with gobs of French oak expression laid over juicy plum and potpourri spices, before showing a balanced structure. The wine offers dark chocolate and black cherry flavors along a persistent, oak-driven essence on the elongated finish. I see where this will get better in time when the oak expression is absorbed into the fruit-forward backbone—hence the “+” sign next to my score. 2021-2032
One of the driest vintages in recent history. December thunderstorms deposited lots of nitrogen in the vineyards, stimulating aggressive growth. The average daytime temperatures were 2C warmer than the long term average, but without any significant heatwaves. Cooler nights allowed the vines to recover from the harsh stress of the warm, dry days.
Handpicked grapes were destemmed, sorted and fermented in open top concrete fermenters at 280C. The skins were punched down by hand, every 2 hours during fermentation. The juice was drawn off the skins after 3 days. Malolactic fermentation and maturation took place for 21 months in 225L French oak barrels (40% new).