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21 Sep 2018
Posted by Wade


Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2015 has become the first South African wine to receive 100 points in Tim Atkin’s hallowed annual report on South African wine. Having tasted 1,986 wines from throughout the country, Kanonkop’s iconic Bordeaux-style blend hit the bull’s eye.  

In Atkin’s own words, “If any South African wine deserves 100 points, and I strongly believe that it does, then it is the brilliant 2015 Paul Sauer, one of the greatest young wines I have ever tasted. Many congratulations to the team at Kanonkop on achieving yet another milestone.”

A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, cellarmaster Abrie Beeslaar described vineyard conditions for the 2015 vintage as “a perfect golf-swing”.

“It was as perfect a vintage as I have ever seen,” says Beeslaar. “The vineyards experienced no moisture stress during the growing season and during December there was just the right amount of strain placed on the vines to prevent excessive vigour in the final stages of the growth cycle,” he says.

But was there one other trump-card besides the one nature dealt allowing precise vineyard conditions?

“The decision of when to pick,” says Beeslaar. “You are working with three varieties and although they were ripening in perfect weather, selecting the right time to harvest is crucial. A few hours can make a difference. If we hadn’t got it right in 2015, we would not have done justice to the great hand nature gave us.”