While I’m broadly tolerant of biodynamics in that it promotes greater sensitivity to grape growing and winemaking, I think the lunar tasting calendar is pushing it. Even so, I found the four vintages of Black Label Pinotage on show at Kanonkop last night particularly earthy and tannic, far more so than I recall the wine being so previously, and guess what? Yesterday was a “root day”, supposedly the worst sort of day for tasting.
The Black Label Pinotage is made from a single block of bush vines planted in 1953 and is the most expensive offering from this renowned property, the newly released 2011 going for R1 200 a bottle.
Scores and tasting notes as follows:
Black cherry, malt and the first signs of development. Rich and broad, moderate acidity, powdery tannins. Slight baked quality and quite hot on the finish.
Slightly less full and the best fruit integrity of the line-up. Fresh acidity, appropriate tannic grip. Perhaps the most true to the property.
Red and black fruit, toasty oak, bright acidity, firm but fine tannins. Powerful yet balanced. Very impressive.
17 months in French oak, 100% new. Very shy on the nose. Overt oak on the palate – notes of vanilla, coffee and spice – but also sweet plum and cherry. Full bodied, rich and dense with soft acidity and chunky tannins.
There’s something imposing about the Black Label but I do wonder just a little why anybody would buy it when the standard label 2010 rated 5 Stars in Platter’s 2013 is available for R210 a bottle.