2018 NEAL MARTIN – VINOUS REPORT

31 Aug

2018 Kanonkop Wine Estate Rosé Pinotage Kadette

The 2018 Kadette Pinotage Rosé is pale onion skin in color. It has a lovely red-cherry-tinged bouquet that is well defined and demonstrates good presence. The palate is well balanced, displaying a slightly waxy texture, pretty red cherry fruit and a slight fish oil element toward the fresh finish. It’s one of the Cape’s best rosé wines, simple as that.

– Neal Martin 89

2016 Kanonkop Wine Estate Pinotage Black Label

The 2016 Black Label Pinotage was matured for 18 months in 100% new Vicard French oak and represents Kanonkop’s top Pinotage cuvée. It has a very refined bouquet of blackberry, red cherries, licorice and a touch of menthol. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, and as usual, it seems to suck up that new oak effortlessly. Rounded and quite sensual toward the finish, this is a gorgeous Pinotage (no oxymoron!) that really demonstrates what this grape variety can do in the right hands.

– Neal Martin 93

2016 Kanonkop Wine Estate Pinotage

The 2016 Pinotage spent 18 months in 75% new and 25% second-fill French barriques. It has a clean, pure bouquet of black plum, licorice and light menthol notes that gain intensity with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit and well-judged acidity. The oak just lends lift toward the smooth, dark-chocolate-tinged finish. Excellent.

– Neal Martin 91

2016 Kanonkop Wine Estate Cape Blend Kadette

The 2016 Kadette Cape Blend comprises 38% Pinotage, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc and 23% Merlot, aged in barrel for 12 months in second-, third- and fourth-fill French barriques. The pleasant, straightforward bouquet of mint-tinged black fruit conveys an almost Left Bank personality. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black and red fruit, well-judged acidity and a sense of harmony toward the easy-drinking finish. Fine.

– Neal Martin 88

2016 Kanonkop Wine Estate Pinotage Kadette

The 2016 Kadette Pinotage spent 12 months in second-, third- and fourth-fill French barriques. It has an attractive, simple, slightly earthy mulberry and blackberry nose. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly chewy tannins, clean licorice-tinged black fruit and an almost Bandol-like finish. This is a fine introduction to Pinotage.

– Neal Martin 88

2015 Kanonkop Wine Estate Paul Sauer

The 2015 Paul Sauer spent five days on the skins and matured for 24 months in new 225-liter French oak (medium toast.) I tasted this both sighted and then blind. It has a sophisticated bouquet of blackberry, raspberry coulis, cedar, sage and mint, perhaps demonstrating a little more precision than the 2014 Paul Sauer. The palate is medium-bodied with rounded tannin, touches of blackberry, raspberry, sage, white pepper and pencil lead. This is quite an intellectual Paul Sauer, and one of the most complex I have encountered, showing real refinement and depth toward the persistent finish. It will benefit from another year or two in bottle, but what an impressive wine!

– Neal Martin 95

2014 Kanonkop Wine Estate Paul Sauer

The 2014 Paul Sauer is Kanonkop’s top cuvée and was matured for 24 months in new French barriques. It has an intense bouquet of blackberry, raspberry and mint mixed with sage and oregano. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannin; the oak is well integrated, and there is a satisfying rondeur and harmony toward the elegant, lightly spiced, quite persistent finish. Always one of the Cape’s most impressive reds, the 2014 shows its class.

– Neal Martin 93

2014 Kanonkop Wine Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon spent 24 months in 50% new and 50% second-fill French oak. It has very good lift on the nose and a touch more definition and red fruit compared to the previous vintage. The palate is well balanced, with fine-grained tannin, and chewy in the mouth at first but finding more precision toward the black-pepper-tinged finish. Give this well-made Cabernet another year in bottle.

– Neal Martin 89

2013 Kanonkop Wine Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon spent 24 months in 50% first-fill and 50% second-fill French barriques. It has a taut, focused bouquet with plenty of mint-tinged black fruit and a touch of licorice developing with time. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit and grippy in the mouth. The finish is nicely proportioned and slightly herbal. Very fine.

– Neal Martin 88

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