5 Stars 2020 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Single-vineyard wine, an always-stellar expression of old-vines pinotage. 17 (96 pts) concentrated & expressive, with lively, piquant core, extravagant vanilla & cedar oak tones. Possibly a little too flamboyant now, but the provenance, the compact fruit, the stern structure from all-new oak/grape tannin interplay – needed for decades-long cellaring – are all there.
97 pts Decanter May 2022
Gorgeously perfumed, leaping out of the glass in demonstrative style: red plums, brambles, floral lift, cinnamon and bonfire toffee. The complexity continues on the intense, full-bodied palate, which is decadent and opulent in its blackforest-gateau-like richness but kept from heaviness by brisk acidity. Super grip from the firm, chewy tannins and a long, perfumed finish. Should age impressively. 2024 – 2039
96 pts Tim Atkin
Abrie Beeslaar is not alone in putting 2017 on a par with 2015 as a red wine vintage, so it’s no surprise that the Cape’s best Pinotage has delivered the goods. Sourced from a low yielding 3.9-hectare block, this is serious, layered and very fine, effortlessly handling its 100% new oak and showing liquorice, blackberry and black cherry fruit. 2022-35
96 pts Vinous Nov 2019
The 2017 Black Label Pinotage is the estate’s premium label, this vintage matured for 16 months in 100% new oak. It has a marvelous bouquet of beautifully defined blackberry and raspberry fruit, touches of mint and fennel emerging with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, fine acidity, a smooth texture and a fresh, tensile finish. This cool, calm and collected Pinotage should age with panache. Stunning.
94 pts Wine Advocate #245 Oct 2019
Immediately impressive upfront, the nose of the 2017 Black Label Pinotage is open and expressive. The opaque core has deep purple edges, and the fruit is concentrated with the oak. The dense and chewy fruit expresses the full array of blue, black and dark red tones—dark plum, blackberry, black cherry with hints of blueberry fill the nose of the glass. On the palate, the fruit has a depth and breadth that is complex and gives pleasure. This is an impressive Pinotage bottling. The mid-palate is rich, full-bodied and is highly complex, while the finish is still youthful and has a firm tannic grip that will ensure this wine lasts for decades. Wow! This full-bodied wine ends with a long and highly complex finish with notes of dark chocolate. It is an impressive wine that will captivate your attention.
92 pts Wine Spectator
WINEMAKER: Abrie Beeslaar
VARIETAL: 100% Pinotage
ORIGIN: Simonsberg, Stellenbosch
CLIMATE: A very dry and hot growing season which resulted in lower yields
AGE OF VINES: 64 year old bush vines
IRRIGATION: None – dry land vineyards
SOIL: Decomposed granite and Hutton soils
YIELD: 2.8 tons/ha
VINIFICATION: Fermentation took place in open concrete fermenters. The cap was punched down manually every 2 hours and the juice was drawn off the
skins after 3.5 days.
MATURATION: 18 months in 100 % new 225L French Nevers oak barrels.
TASTING NOTES: Deep purple colour, with intense floral and perfumed top notes of rose petals, followed by aromas of strawberries, mulberries and hints of oak spice. The mid palate is filled with plush flavours of red fruits, plums and chocolate. Seamlessly integrated oak and velvety tannins adds great support and structure. A big, mouth filling, complex and powerful wine, yet elegant at the same time.
FOOD PAIRING: Best served with roast game, duck or Asianstyled cuisine.
AGEING POTENTIAL: 20 – 25 years from vintage