Kanonkop - 'Paul Sauer' Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2016

$98.00
Sale price

Regular price $98.00

"Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2016 Presents Refined Elegance after Hot, Dry Vintage."

The highly anticipated release of Kanonkop’s latest vintage of the iconic Paul Sauer, has delivered a red wine of extraordinary elegance, perfume and refinement. The Paul Sauer 2016 follows on the legendary 2015 vintage, which was the first South African wine to be scored a complete 100pts in the annual wine report compiled by British Master of Wine Tim Atkin.

With the 100pts rating leading to a complete sell-out and continued demand for the Paul Sauer 2015, comparisons will obviously made with the 2016. Both the 2015 and 2016 vintages are a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc.

According to Abrie Beeslaar, Kanonkop cellarmaster, the 2016 vintage was characterised by a dry winter and hot growing conditions, with prospects for a good quality harvest not looking good at all.

“2016 was one of the most trying vintages I have ever experienced on Kanonkop,” he says. “We had extreme heat during the growing season, with a very hot January. To add to this, the rainfall leading up to harvest was 30% less than the long term average, and following on the dry 2015 it was exponentially tougher. The vines appeared nervous, and when they are nervous, so are we. There was a lot of stress going on, very much different to the 2015 season when all the vineyard cycles were in synch.”
All-in-all, the grapes ripened quicker, resulting in less complexity than 2015. “The drier conditions did, however, give a high level of concentration of flavour and aroma, but on the open-fermenters we had to work very carefully on the extraction to get the right balance.”

The grapes for the Paul Sauer originate from vineyards averaging 28 years in age. Hand-harvested, the fruit went through three sorting processes before the berries were placed in open concrete fermenters. Fermentation took place over five days at 29°C, with the cap punched down every two hours to ensure a continual and gentle extraction and interaction between skins, flesh and juice.

The Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc wines were blended after malolactic fermentation where-after the wine was placed in new 225l French oak barrels. As is usual, the Paul Sauer was  barrel-aged for 24 months.

Beeslaar says the Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2016 is very typical of the style. “It is quite perfumed and elegant on the entrance to the palate,” he says. “Currently the oak is a bit separate due to the weight of the wine, but will integrate over time. The length is medium, with a classic dry finish.”

The official tasting notes read as follows: Complex and layered aromas of cassis, plums and sweet spice are further complemented by notes of tobacco, cedar wood and cigar box on the nose. The palate has a plush, juicy red and black fruit core with seamless, integrated tannins and a fine seam of acidity. Pin-point balance between the new oak and fruit results in a wine with grace and elegance. Beautiful savoury notes on the finish.


If stored correctly, this wine will mature gracefully for 20 – 25 years.

 

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Kanonkop Estate

Kanonkop Estate is situated on the lower slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa. The estate is now in its fourth generation of the Sauer family and has recently been taken over by the capable and talented hands of Paul & Johann Krige. Over the last 40 years, Kanonkop Estate has earned a reputation for the best wines in the country - largely due to the great success of their Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon Blend: 'Paul Sauer'. 

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Bordeaux Red Blend

This is the most famous red blend of them all: Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Just like in Bordeaux, where this blend originates from, you will almost always see Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot in the blend, too. Each grape brings its own special element to the overall wine be it acid, tannin, colour or aromatics.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch is the leading wine region in South Africa. It is home to many of the most famous estates and many of the top wines. Generally speaking it is a red wine hub with Pinotage, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon at the helm, though recently white varieties like chardonnay and chenin blanc have risen to prominence.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir. 

"Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2016 Presents Refined Elegance after Hot, Dry Vintage."

The highly anticipated release of Kanonkop’s latest vintage of the iconic Paul Sauer, has delivered a red wine of extraordinary elegance, perfume and refinement. The Paul Sauer 2016 follows on the legendary 2015 vintage, which was the first South African wine to be scored a complete 100pts in the annual wine report compiled by British Master of Wine Tim Atkin.

With the 100pts rating leading to a complete sell-out and continued demand for the Paul Sauer 2015, comparisons will obviously made with the 2016. Both the 2015 and 2016 vintages are a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc.

According to Abrie Beeslaar, Kanonkop cellarmaster, the 2016 vintage was characterised by a dry winter and hot growing conditions, with prospects for a good quality harvest not looking good at all.

“2016 was one of the most trying vintages I have ever experienced on Kanonkop,” he says. “We had extreme heat during the growing season, with a very hot January. To add to this, the rainfall leading up to harvest was 30% less than the long term average, and following on the dry 2015 it was exponentially tougher. The vines appeared nervous, and when they are nervous, so are we. There was a lot of stress going on, very much different to the 2015 season when all the vineyard cycles were in synch.”
All-in-all, the grapes ripened quicker, resulting in less complexity than 2015. “The drier conditions did, however, give a high level of concentration of flavour and aroma, but on the open-fermenters we had to work very carefully on the extraction to get the right balance.”

The grapes for the Paul Sauer originate from vineyards averaging 28 years in age. Hand-harvested, the fruit went through three sorting processes before the berries were placed in open concrete fermenters. Fermentation took place over five days at 29°C, with the cap punched down every two hours to ensure a continual and gentle extraction and interaction between skins, flesh and juice.

The Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc wines were blended after malolactic fermentation where-after the wine was placed in new 225l French oak barrels. As is usual, the Paul Sauer was  barrel-aged for 24 months.

Beeslaar says the Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2016 is very typical of the style. “It is quite perfumed and elegant on the entrance to the palate,” he says. “Currently the oak is a bit separate due to the weight of the wine, but will integrate over time. The length is medium, with a classic dry finish.”

The official tasting notes read as follows: Complex and layered aromas of cassis, plums and sweet spice are further complemented by notes of tobacco, cedar wood and cigar box on the nose. The palate has a plush, juicy red and black fruit core with seamless, integrated tannins and a fine seam of acidity. Pin-point balance between the new oak and fruit results in a wine with grace and elegance. Beautiful savoury notes on the finish.


If stored correctly, this wine will mature gracefully for 20 – 25 years.

 

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Kanonkop Estate

Kanonkop Estate is situated on the lower slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa. The estate is now in its fourth generation of the Sauer family and has recently been taken over by the capable and talented hands of Paul & Johann Krige. Over the last 40 years, Kanonkop Estate has earned a reputation for the best wines in the country - largely due to the great success of their Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon Blend: 'Paul Sauer'. 

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Bordeaux Red Blend

This is the most famous red blend of them all: Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Just like in Bordeaux, where this blend originates from, you will almost always see Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot in the blend, too. Each grape brings its own special element to the overall wine be it acid, tannin, colour or aromatics.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch is the leading wine region in South Africa. It is home to many of the most famous estates and many of the top wines. Generally speaking it is a red wine hub with Pinotage, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon at the helm, though recently white varieties like chardonnay and chenin blanc have risen to prominence.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.