Beeslaar Pinotage 2017
Red | Ready, but will improve | Beeslaar | 2017 | South Africa > Western Cape > Stellenbosch | Pinotage | Full Bodied, Dry | 14.5% abv
Abrie Beeslaar is the winemaker at Kanonkop on the Simonsberg, a winery that over many years has done more than any other to raise the profile of South Africa’s native cultivar, Pinotage. He has only been making his eponymous Pinotage since 2012, but already it has achieved iconic status, with the 2015 vintage named the best red wine in South Africa in 2017 by Tim Atkin MW.
Abrie sources the grapes from a 2.5-hectare, 24-year-old block of bush vines close to Kanonkop in Stellenbosch, planted on well-draining shale at an altitude of 200 metres. Only around 800 cases made each year. Jamie Goode described this wine as the "Grand Cru Burgundy of Pinotage" and it is certainly a force to be reckoned with, awesomely imposing and with stunningly balanced structure, fruit profile and oak. The grapes were picked a week earlier than usual in 2017, then de-stemmed and fermented in open-top concrete tanks. Malolactic fermentation took place in nineteen French oak barrels and two American oak barrels, the wine then maturing for a further twenty months in barrel.