The nose is quite engaging on opening letting you know you are on to something very special. An initial sweet vanillin oak spice component interplays with notes of sweet cedar spice, violets, tobacco, tilled earth and graphite fused into deep dark fruit tones. As the wine aerates the oak spice folds into the fruit leading to a palate, that although possessing incredible density, still retains a sense of refinement on its medium fuller frame, while the tannins, prevalent as they are, are in perfect proportion with the red and dark fruit flavors and become more tame and silky textured as the wine continues to open up. Layered and beautifully structured, notes of bitter chocolate, herbs and espresso push up through on the lingering finish. This has makeup to last for decades and we suggest that you lay this down for a few years to give it a chance to really show its true potential, but if you insist on trying at this stage of its life we suggest you decant and play with it and watch it evolve in the glass. A Serious Cabernet that few can match in quality and pricing, there are a number of critics who are saying that it has the potential to be better than its highly reviewed 2015 sibling, Paul Sauer. Only time will tell but who can quibble when the quality is this good. Almost like splitting hairs.
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5 Stars 2020 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
A cape classic & consistent top performer in this guide; 5 stars (one of only 2) in the original edition, 15***** (95 pts) makes it 12 maximum ratings total. Refined & sensual rather than austere & cerebral, with forthcoming textbook cassis aromas/flavours, cedar seasoning, polished tannins from 2 years in 50% new oak. Like 14 (94 pts) & previous, has both immediate appeal & minimum 10 years cellaring potential.
97 pts Greg Sherwood MW May 2019
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 over oaked, this is surely one of the greatest single varietal Cabernet Sauvignon’s produced in South Africa.
A complex and serious wine showing layered aromas of cedar wood, blackcurrants, blue berries, tea leaves and graphite on the nose. Subtle oak spice and savoury notes add further complexity. The palate is rich and full bodied, with pin-point balance between fruit and oak. The elegant and refined tannin structure is supported by intense flavours of cassis, cured meat and tomato stew. A lingering finish completes a true Cape classic wine!
This wine will benefit from further bottle ageing for up to 20 years from vintage