Abrie Beeslar (above) is the winemaker at Kanonkop, and he’s doing a bit of homebrew. This, his debut vintage, is one of the most profound interpretations of the often tricky Pinotage grape that you can imagine. It’s the Grand Cru Burgundy of Pinotages: structured, fresh, complex, ageworthy and elegant despite its obvious concentration. Website is here. I’ve gone big on the score: I’m not afraid to even for a debut vintage when the wine is this good.
Beeslaar Pinotage 2012 Stellenbosch, South Africa
This spends 17 months in French oak, 50% of which is new. It’s taut, dense and quite structured with fresh, expressive ripe red cherry and berry fruits. Concentrated and structured, yet still fresh and elegant with the oak perfectly integrated into the dense fruit. There’s a savoury, mineral dimension under the fruit. Like a Grand Cru Burgundy, this isn’t really ready yet (it’s still tight-wound and a bit burly), but should age into graceful elegance over 20 years. 94/100
UK agent: Vincisive