Kanonkop Kadette 2009
Other Red Blends from South Africa
This tasty Cape blend from South Africa's premier Pinotage producer displays ripe, juicy flavors of dark berry, coffee and plum interlaced with pleasant herbal and spice notes. A distinctive smoky, tarry character makes this supple, full-bodied red the ultimate grilling/tailgate wine.
International Wine Cellar - "Good full red. Slightly candied aromas of cherry, berry and spices. Sweet but penetrating, with ripe acidity giving this blend a light touch for the vintage. Lovely juicy cherry/berry fruit offers plenty of immediate appeal, and the ripe tannins will not get in the way. Should make a perfect barbecue wine. "
Wine Enthusiast - "Also known as a Cape Blend, this mix of 46% Pinotage, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc is an easy-drinking, youthful wine with fresh but rich fruit flavors of red plum and cherry backed by rose hip and hibiscus floral accents. Structured tannins remain through the close, with a subtle smokiness unfolding on the end."
With a reputation for producing some of the Cape’s finest red wines, the heralded Kanonkop Estate is often referred to as a South African "First Growth." The fourth generation family farm, presently run by brothers Johann and Paul Krige, has been owned and operated by the Sauer-Krige family since the early 1930s. The name Kanonkop is derived from a "kopje" (small hill) on the property, from which a cannon was fired in the 17th century to announce the arrival of the Dutch East India Company’s trading ships at Table Bay.
Kanonkop boasts some of the Cape’s first commercially planted Pinotage vines, with an average age of over 50 years. Respecting tradition while embracing the future, Kanonkop fuses age-old wine-making techniques with state-of-the art technology. All of the estate’s grapes are handpicked and sorted. The wines are vinified in open concrete fermenters, using manual punchdowns, and are subsequently aged in French Nevers oak barrels.
Kanonkop continues its long history of excellence under Abrie Beeslaar, winemaker at the estate since 2002. In addition to garnering regular 90+ ratings for his bottlings in such publications as Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast, Beeslaar was crowned the 2008 International Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London, where Kanonkop also received the Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande trophy for the best blended red wine with its Paul Sauer 2003 and the Dave Hughes Trophy for Best South African Producer. In addition, Kanonkop was named "Winery of the Year" and its Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 earned "Wine of the Year" in the 2009 edition of John Platter’s South African Wine Guide – widely recognized as the most authoritative and comprehensive guide on the world of South African wine. View all Kanonkop Wines
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A long history of growing grapes and making wine, but less of a history on exporting it, and even lesser on the quality aspect. At the turn of the century (1900, that is), a surplus of wine in South Africa created a hierarchy of cooperatives, the biggest and best known being KWV. This organization seemed to favor quantity over quality and had most control over wines and vineyards until the late 1980's. Now, with a bit more competition, quality is coming around. Yet, South African wine was not even seen in American wine stores until the mid-1990's – the trade embargo on the country for their racial apartheid laws kept South African wine out of the US. When apartheid fell, so did the embargo, and SA bottles began showing up on US shelves.
White wine has always been the cash crop of South Africa, with much of it distilled to make brandy. More white than red is planted, much of it the Steen variety – known elsewhere in the world as Chenin Blanc. Good producers are making top quality dry wines from this grape. Another grape gaining some raves is Sauvignon Blanc, producing whites that are dry and crisp, yet rounder than many of its Southern Hemisphere counterparts. For reds, the top grapes are Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon (& blends) and Pinotage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends was once the favorite and most-produced, but Shiraz is taking over as wineries crank out high quality wines from the variety. Pinotage, which used to be a grape only your mother could love, has improved dramatically and is often as delicious as it is distinctive. The most popular regions of the country include Stellenbosch and Paarl.
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Notable FactsWhite wine has always been the cash crop of South Africa, with much of it distilled to make brandy. More white than red is planted, the majority of it is Steen – known elsewhere in the world as Chenin Blanc. Good producers are making top quality dry wines from this grape. Another grape the critics rave aboutSauvignon Blanc, producing whites that are dry and crisp, yet rounder than many of its Southern Hemisphere counterparts. For reds, the top grapes are Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon (& blends) and Pinotage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends were once the favorite and most-produced, but Shiraz is taking over as wineries crank out high quality wines from the variety. Pinotage, a man-made crossing between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, has improved dramatically and is often as delicious as it is distinctive. In describing red wines in South Africa, smoky and meaty are two terms that are common. Regionally, the most popular wine-making areas include Stellenbosch and Paarl.
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4 ratings, 2 with reviewsAndy Jones - Needham, MA51/18/201242/10/2011Created in 1925 by South Africa’s first professor of viticulture, the Pinotage grape is actually a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut. South Africa’s signature grape definitely has its fans and its detractors. I am not a huge Pinotage fan as a single varietal, but in a wine like this Kadette where it is blended with Bordeaux varietals, I think it provides a unique character and makes this an exciting wine. The Kadette has a smoky nose with green pepper, star anise and dried fig also present. Additionally, there is an aroma which was most closely identified as pine resin by Leah, a wine expert friend, at a recent tasting. Although it is only moderately tannic, the wine has a lot of bite and nice acidity on the finish. This is a good value wine and worth a shot if you’re looking for something a little different. Food Pairing Suggestions: I think this Kadette is much more of a food wine than a sipping wine, and the dish that I would favor the most for a nice pairing would be bell peppers stuffed with ground beef and rice with plenty of garlic and onions. A traditional meat loaf would also be a nice accompaniment. For something more involved, think about slow braising a rabbit with a cheaper Pinotage and then drinking this Kadette alongside the final product.Scott Citino - Fernandina Beach, FL31/1/2011This wine is very tannic and can stand to be aged for a couple years or allowed to oxidize for awhile before drinking. Smokky start with nice coffee and berry tones.l
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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