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Paul Sauer 2013

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SPW Contributors

Sanlam Private Wealth

It could be argued that the South African wine industry has benefited from sharing classic characteristics of both the Old World wines and the upfront fruity and ripe style of the ”New World” wines. The risk of this hybrid position is that SA wines could suffer an identity crisis.


However, this isn’t the case for Kanonkop. This estate has for years made wines in a classical style, with typical Stellenbosch fruit standing up against the structure – wines that have endeared themselves to owners with the patience to allow for proper bottle ageing.

I had the privilege of sampling the Cape Winemakers Guild Paul Sauer at a pre-auction tasting. The good news: it’s a wow wine. It’s packed with layers of black fruit, perfume and cedarwood, creating a complex nose and palate while also offering cigar box and vanilla tobacco. Despite its youth, this blend has a more integrated and complex profile than its single cabernet sauvignon counterpart. The acid, alcohol and integrated oak provide a balance as well as fantastic ageing potential. With some patience, you’ll be rewarded with an absolute gem.

The bad news is that this wine was only available at the CWG Auction on 1 October, selling for an average of R2 000 a bottle, the day’s highest price. The auction wine is not to be confused with the standard Paul Sauer – this blend is a barrel selection from the standard Paul Sauer blend, hence the scarcity value.

Winemaker: Abrie Beeslaar
Varietals: Cabernet sauvignon 70%, cabernet franc 18%, merlot 12%
Climate: A very windy season, with rains in February
Age of vines: On average, 24 years
Soil: Decomposed granite, Hutton and Closely soils
Trellis of vines: Five-wire hedge
Yield: 4.5 tons/ha, 3 000ℓ/ha
Vinification: Five days on skins in open fermenters at 29°C cap punched manually every second hour
Food suggestions: Meat dishes

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