Kadette Pinotage offers an experience reminiscent of the Kanonkop flagship – still serious and for considerably less

PRETTY GOOD, yet pretty quiet, somewhat mysterious… It was only a few months back that we heard about the new version of Pinotage from Kanonkop – just that a third Pinotage from the Krige brothers, winemaker Abrie Beeslaar and their team was on the cards, to be released under the second-tier Kadette label, but no fanfare to speak of. And now that it’s on sale at the cellar the profile appears to be low-profile; it’s taking a while for word to get around…

The first time we tried to buy some from the farm we were handed a bottle of the Kadette Cape Blend by mistake. And still, if you’ve visited the Kanonkop website recently the only mention of the wine is on the pricelist – there’s no tasting note, nothing about the origin of the grapes or how the wine was made. Fortunately there is some info on the back label to help us out, however…

Host of the online Pinotage Club in the UK Peter May postulates that Kadette is now the name for Kanonkop’s wines made from grapes not grown on the estate. Yet the label of the new bottle proclaims ‘produced and bottled on Kanonkop’. Whatever! The 2012 Kadette Pinotage is a good wine – not quite as special as the current-release flagship version at R230 or the limited edition Black Label at R1250 ex-cellar, but very pleasant at R75 a bottle.

According to the proprietors of the ‘first growth’ property in the foothills of the Simonsberg, Stellenbosch: “Produced in the traditional Kanonkop fashion – full bodied with a deep ruby colour. Gentle oak and tannin structures give this wine a long, lingering and smooth finish. Elegant red fruit, plum and banana flavours with a spicy finish.” Touche!

For recent Kanonkop Pinotage reviews, click here.