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Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2018

Tasting Notes

This legendary wine is named after Kanonkop’s patriarch and is a Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The depth of flavour, structure and complexity offered by these three grape varieties is accentuated by 24 months’ ageing in new French oak. Blackcurrant notes combine with aromas of Cape wildflower and cigar box to offer a regal wine recognised as one of the best South Africa has to offer.

Composition: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot

Winter rainfall was higher than the previous two winters. Irregular temperatures from winter until the flowering period, together with cool
growing conditions, led to great variations in the vineyards. The cool weather and regular rain showers led to less water stress for the vines during ripening. Harvest time was characterised by regular rain showers.

The saturated ruby colour is complimented by an array of scents typically associated with Paul Sauer – fresh herbs, tilled earth, pencil shavings, spice, red- and black fruits. While being heady and perfumed, the wine remains classic and refined, with an utterly elegant structure. The tannins are precise, and together with the clever use of new oak, creates the perfect backdrop to host the complex fruit spectrum. The finish is sappy and spicy, with layered notes of red fruits and cured meats on the long, youthful finish.

Scores & Reviews

97 pts Greg Sherwood MW May 2021

The 2018 Paul Sauer is a classical blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc from vines averaging 30 years of age grown on dryland vineyards of Decomposed Granite and Hutton and Clovelly soils. Vibrant and ruby / purple, the wine almost glows in the glass with inviting promise. At this youthful stage, the Cabernet Sauvignon component shines through strongly revealing a generally dark, broody, black fruited demeanour embellished with subtle notes of saline crème de cassis, star anise, lead pencil shavings, dried violets and signature nuances of freshly tilled earth, buttered brown toast and hints of breakfast espresso. In the mouth, the palate shows gorgeous elegance, purity and fruit focus with the most fine grained filigree tannins, soothingly generous black berry fruits and delicious mouth-watering acids. This wine is precision personified showing such effortless grace and harmony together with a measured power and intensity. The 2018 is certainly a very classically schooled expression that waltzes across the palate without ever putting a foot out of place. Like all truly great Bordeaux blends, this has the finesse and textural harmony to drink on release but also the intensity and gravitas to age effortlessly for 20 to 30+ years.

96 pts Vinous November 2021

The 2018 Paul Sauer is backward, almost surly on the nose and needs a few minutes to really find its voice, offering blackberry, raspberry coulis, aniseed and light floral scents. The oak is very well integrated here. The harmonious palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, and one of the most sensual I can recall in recent years. Suave and sophisticated, this is Cape wine from the top drawer. 2022-2045

96 pts Tim Atkin MW 2021

The latest vintage of this iconic Cape cuvée marries Cabernet Sauvignon with 15% each of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. There’s no sign of the heat of the vintage or of the extraction you find in some Stellenbosch reds in 2018. Subtle, smooth and graceful, this is characteristically perfumed and complete, with fine new wood, detailed tannins, racy acidity and tobacco, green herb and cassis flavours. 2024-35

93 pts Wine Spectator Web Only – 2022

A vibrant red, with tar and licorice notes enriching raspberry jam, baked black cherry, mocha and cured tobacco flavors. Tightly meshed and full-bodied, with fine tannins imparting good structure and tension. Firm, minerally finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Best from 2023 through 2030. 3,500 cases made, 125 cases imported.



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