Beeslaar Pinotage 2018
Red | Ready, but will improve | Beeslaar | 2018 | 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, 25-year-old block of bush vines close to Kanonkop, planted on well-draining shale at an altitude of 200 metres. Only around 800 cases made each year.
The grapes were hand-picked then de-stemmed and fermented in open-top concrete tanks. Malolactic fermentation took place in nineteen French oak barrels (40 per cent new oak) and two American oak barrels, the wine then maturing for a further twenty-one months in barrel.
Wine writer Jamie Goode once described this wine as the "Grand Cru Burgundy of Pinotage". It truly is a force to be reckoned with, imposing and with stunning balance, the fruit expertly married with the oak. You know you're in the presence of greatness drinking this.