Iconic Kanonkop


Every now and then you drink a wine that reaffirms what the Greeks used to think—the gods are drinking this! Such a wine is the spectacular Paul Sauer from Kanonkop.

An annual highlight in the South African wine calendar, the new release of Kanonkop Estate’s iconic Paul Sauer Bordeaux-style red wine harnesses the challenges of the 2019 Stellenbosch vintage in a wine that will go down as one characterised by focussed refinement. According to Abrie Beeslaar, cellarmaster of Kanonkop Estate situated on the slopes of Stellenbosch’s Simonsberg region, 2019 still saw the crop showing the effects of the Cape’s drought despite the preceding winter being blessed with the first substantial rainfall in five years.

Cellarmaster Abrie Beeslaar

“We will remember being overjoyed as the cold fronts moved in over Stellenbosch during the winter of 2018, drenching the parched vines and their soils,” he said. “But it takes more than one wet season to replenish the earth, so despite the generous rains, the vines still showed some stress from the preceding years’ drought.”


The Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc components were blended after malolactic fermentation where-after the wine was placed in new 225l French oak barrels. As with each vintage of Kanonkop Paul Sauer, barrel-aging was done for 24 months.

A masterpiece.

For the 2019 vintage Abrie used more Cabernet Sauvignon than per usual – 75% – with 14% Cabernet Franc and 11% Merlot. The influence of the two Cabernets on this wine is evident showing a long, cool refinement with sleek tannins.

The cellarmaster’s note read as follows: The saturated ruby colour is complemented by a dense and interwoven complexity of, tilled earth, nutmeg, bouquet garni, with classic cedar and red and black fruits. The wine remains refined, with an elegant structure. Tannins are precise, and together with the use of new oak, creates the perfect backdrop to host the complex fruit spectrum. A long, and – at this stage – youthful finish.

Kanonkop tasting room

If stored correctly, this wine will mature gracefully for 20 – 25 years. If—like me—you don’t have 25 years to wait—drink it now –it is an experience to lift the spirit to unprecedented levels. From the cellar at R850–a masterpiece, very special.