Kanonkop, a South African wine producer, offers its Cape Blend, Kanonkop Kadette 2017 from Stellenbosch. The name, which means “Cannon Hill”, refers to the time when cannons were fired to signal the arrival of Dutch trade ships into Cape Town harbor. The wine is a blend of Pinotage (37%), Cabernet Sauvignon (36%), Merlot (25%) and Cabernet Franc (2%). It’s aged for 12 to 14 months in French oak and comes from the Stellenbosch region, east of Cape Town.
A dry red wine, it offers concentrated berry, cherry and plum flavors, soft and silky tannins with hints at the finish of spice. Try it with beef dishes and pastas for an elegant addition to the meal.
The Kanonkop Kadette Dry Pinotage Rosé 2015 from South Africa is a traditional rosé with rich aromatic raspberry and cherry flavors from this Stellenbosch winery whose name means “Cannon Hill,” referring to the days when cannons were fired to signal the arrival of Dutch trading ships into Cape Town Harbor.
With grapes from Stellenbosch, east of Cape Town, the 2015 wine was made after a cold and wet winter with a moderate ripening period, harvested on January 28, 2015. The wine has soft tannins and complexity, with a long finish. It is 14% ABV and makes for lovely sipping on a warm summer day or evening.
Red Jasper is named for one of the founders of Raats Family Wines, Jasper. Sr., and celebrates his cultivation of quality grapes and particularly Cabernet Franc, which he loves and which the winery made a specialty with Chenin Blanc. The wines have been described as “gemstones” of the Stellenbosch region.
Raats, Sr. continues, working with his sons Brouwer and Jasper. This year for the first time, it was selected one of the wineries awarded a five star rating by South Africa’s Platter’s South African Wines 2013. It was among only 11 wineries to win that accolade.
The 2010 vintage is made with 80 percent Cabernet Franc, 7.5 percent Petit Verdot, 7.5 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and five percent Malbec. The vintage received 90 points from the Wine Spectator’s James Molesworth in the July, 2013 issue.
Grown in soil described as 100 percent decomposed Dolomite Granite, the grapes are from 18-25-year-old vines, trellised, with no irrigation.
Like its South African wine-making contemporaries, Raats focuses on quality and value. Red Jasper exemplifies that approach. In the U.S., it is imported by Cape Classics.