A New Luxury Wine in South Africa

(More wine news on www.vitabella.fr). Kanonkop, a south african winery, added a luxury wine to its commercial strategy. According to Decanter Wine Magazine, Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage 2006, from the renowned Stellenbosch farm, has sold out of its first 600 bottles at R1000 (€95) and will release 400 more in March. This certainly makes it the most expensive Pinotage wine in the world.
When a winery has for mission to ensure that "Kanonkop continues to be regarded as South Africa’s equivalent of a First Growth", you would not expect less. But for a winery whose most expensive wine was up to now Paul Sauer, a R270 traditional blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, it may sound strange. Moreover, Pinotage, a cross between pinot noir and cinsault, only makes up 6% of total vineyard area in South Africa and needs to get additional international coverage to be fully recognized.
But Kanonkop has a long history with this grape variety and built a strong credibility internationally. In fact, Kanonkop is renowned for its red wines and Pinotage makes up 50% of all its plantings. Their Pinotage vines, which have been retained as bush vines, were some of the first commercially planted Pinotage to be established at the Cape and most are over 50 years old.
At R1000, is it too expensive? In fact, when you only have 600 bottles on sale, you just have to give a call to your best friends and the deal is done. For the next vintages, time will tell as Kanonkop plans to sell 2012 "En primeur, Bordeaux style" and "develop a secondary market" by introducing the Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage 2012 in November to investors and the press while the wine is still in barrel.
Can a 100% Pinotage be a luxury wine? With a recently tasted Simonsig Redhill 2006 and other wines from Beyerskloof, DeWaal or Umkhulu, Pinotage shows a great potential. Moreover an increasing number of wine lovers appreciate autochtonous grape varieties and Pinotage has its place, by far, in the best ranks of wine critics' lists. And Kanonkop has such a long successful history that a new success seems easy to obtain for this great winery.(More wine news on www.vitabella.fr).