Kanonkop Black Label: proving Pinotage potential

Kanonkop Pinotage vertical lined up on 10 May 2022

Tim Jackson MW spells out exactly how a controversial variety can be persuaded to make great wine.

Kanonkop have long been proponents of Pinotage, South Africa’s own dark-skinned cross, and their Estate Pinotage is, for me, a benchmark for the variety. In the late 2000s, they took that to a higher level with the creation of Black Label, a Pinotage made from a single block of vines planted in 1953 – the oldest Pinotage on the estate.

With only around 7,200 bottles produced per vintage and a price tag in excess of £100 a bottle, I hadn’t had a...