By the mid-1980s, Kanonkop was experiencing an ever-growing demand for its estate wines. This had led to new plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage. While the new vineyards were a blessing in terms of future increased volumes, the ethos of Kanonkop’s cellar, under Beyers Truter at the time, required that these newer vines reach a certain stage of maturity before the fruit was deemed good enough to be vinified into a wine that portrayed the depth and complexity associated with Kanonkop.
It was Jannie Krige who came up with the idea of making a second label under the name Kadette. The thinking behind the new name was logical: with the military association of ‘kanon’ (cannon) in Kanonkop, the Kadette was deemed a deserved junior to the more senior main brand.
The grapes used in the Kadette range of wines no longer come from the Kanonkop vineyards; the demand is too great and the volume required simply too large. However, every bunch of grapes brought in for the making of Kadette is subjected to the same meticulous processes in the winery as the Estate range.
This wine features the classic characteristics of South Africa’s famous home-grown grape variety. Autumnal, juicy dark fruit is complemented by an enticing savoury character with just a hint of underlying sweetness. Ageing in used French oak barrels produces a lean, muscular structure and supple tannins.
92 pts Tim Atkin MW 2020
Abrie Beeslaar has a magic touch with Pinotage, whatever the price point. This 450,000 – bottle example, most of it bought from local growers, is spicy, textured and very lightly wooded, with classic raspberry and red fruit and supple tannins. 2021-26