We have been working on our South Africa and Egypt trip for months. Diligently doing research and taking about it daily.
One of our stops will be a week on the Western Cape or as many define it, Stellenbosch. It has always been on my wine region bucket list for its wines and beauty. One of my goals was to find some excellent producers of Pinotage.
This Beeslaar is the private label of the Winemaker at Kanonkop, Abrie Beeslaar. Abrie makes a black label Kanonkop that sells retail at $200. That’s right, $200! It must be deliriously good if they can get $200 for it.
I found this 2016 Beeslaar at K&L for just under $37. It’s the 1st Pinotage that has my eyes wide open as to what can’t be done with this difficult varietal in the right hands. If his private label is this good, I hope to visit Kanonkop and taste their black label.
The nose reveals; dark chocolate raisins, dark eastern spices, plum and black cherry, blueberries, baked strawberries, blackberries, black raspberries, black raisin currants, smokiness and grilled meats, black pepper and a touch of white, some green vegetal notes, cinnamon, dark chocolate mocha bar, dark fruit steeped tea, gravely schist, touch of coffee grounds, dark fruit roll-ups, leather, tobacco with ash with fresh, dark red & blue florals.
The body is full, thick and rich. There is a dark, tarry, dusty tannin structure. This will benefit from 3-5 years plus in bottle but, it is crazy good. Sound, firm; structure, big tension, long length and very good balance. Dark chocolate raisins, smokiness and grilled meats, dark eastern spices that brings pronounced heat to the palate, black plum, plum and black cherry, blueberries, baked strawberries, blackberries, black raspberries, raspberries, black raisin currants, dark berry bubblegum, black pepper and a touch of white, tree bark with a touch of sap, some green vegetal notes, cinnamon, dark chocolate mocha bar, dark fruit steeped tea, gravely schist, dry stones, touch of coffee grounds, dark fruit roll-ups, new un-smoothed leather, tobacco with ash with fresh, dark red & blue florals. The acidity is round and splendid. The elegant, rich finish runs ripe fruits to dry tannins with dusty earth and shows an even tug of war with its fruits and earthiness.
It drinks like a combination of; Grand Cru Gamay, Shiraz and Northern Rhône.
I will be getting more of this and forgetting about it for 5 more years. Can’t wait for that moment and noting the changes.
This wine raises my excitement level for our trip with each sip.
Pinotage is a grape variety made from a cross of Pinot Noir & Cinsaut that was created in South Africa in 1925 by Abraham Izak Perold, the first Professor of Viticulture at Stellenbosch University...making it one of the youngest grape varietals.
Photos of; a shot of just how beautiful Cape vineyards can be, Winemaker-Abrie Beeslaar, Pinotage fruit near harvest and field-hands harvesting their very tall vines. Beeslaar has no Cellar Door currently.
— 2 days ago
A delightful South-African blend, rich in flavour of black cherries and black berry fruits in general., low acidity, soft polish tannins with a hint of sweetness in medium plus aftertaste. Nice fruity smell as well. — 12 days ago
A good solid white wine. Had what I refer to as an initial zing on the palate but after a couple of sips this subsided to more of a general tangy acidity. Flavour lingers long after a sip and generally very pleasant. Consumed with pork and Welsh cheddar sausages, herbed new potatoes and carrots and they worked okay together but found the wine more enjoyable solo than with the meal. — 4 days ago
Solid Bordeaux Blend (Left Bank Style) from a South African Historic Estate. Deep youthful color with violets, plums and spices on the nose. Plums, licorice and wet stone on the pallet. Sleek, opulent, with a creamy finish. — 3 days ago
Raclette night with Kims et al. Closer out the night with this decanted beauty. Plum and prune nose with cedar box and some forest floor notes. Still a lot of fruit and life, integrated soft tanins and great acid. — 9 days ago
Two surprises today. Tammy announcing her final year as Meridian’s Mayor and .....an absolutely phenomenal wine to recognize this decision and milestone in her career. Deep dark complex tannins that lingered for ever. Dark mineral juice wrung from grapes from the Garden of Eden. They came together so smooth, so balanced. One of the absolute best! Hand delivered by Chris Dixon. — 13 days ago
Striking fresh ripe black currant at the start, with dryer tobacco notes from the glass, cranberry from the close up and an amazing evolution — 6 days ago