South African wine icons: Kanonkop Paul Sauer

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Truth be told, I was going to save this one until last, I’ve had multiple bottles of Paul Sauer over the years and I’m less familiar with the other wine icons on my list so it seemed sensible to leave the most familiar, and potentially the best, for last.

Fate, it would seem, had a different plan entirely. You see Kanonkop Paul Sauer has always been my go to wine for special occasions, in my early wine appreciation years my taste buds ran ahead of my budget and despite being a student who was flat broke, my first and second graduations both were accompanied by a bottle of Kanonkop Paul Sauer, as was my 21st birthday.

When I finally had my first proper salary I also celebrated the milestone with Kanonkop’s excellent flagship blend and although my 30th birthday was fully stocked with a competitor’s tipple (take a bow De Grendel), there was still one bottle of Paul Sauer to mark the occasion.

Most recently, on the day I met my future wife in person for the first time, I flew all the way to little known (for a South African at least) Latvia with a bottle of Kanonkop albeit an excellent Pinotage on that occasion, after all what could be more South African than a pinotage? This pattern was mostly subconscious and wholly unintentional, but today is a very special occasion and the Paul Sauer on the wine rack just had to be enjoyed.

More about that down below, and yes this is a test for friends and family too …

First let us handle the non-professional review of this excellent wine to join the ranks of my previous two reviews: the Meerlust Rubicon and the Rustenberg Peter Barlow


Imagine the deepest hypnotic red you’ve seen, that’s about it, there’s always something appropriate and stately about a flagship red wine having such a lovely deep red in my eyes.

Paul Sauer's cork

Paul Sauer in the sun


A very pleasant aroma, hint of oak perhaps, but the berry flavours take center stage on the nose. Not the young sweet type of berry flavours, a lovely mature black currant that I could sniff all day if wine wasn’t meant for drinking.


Full bodied as it is, the silky smoothness stays with you from the first sip until the last. There is the slightest hint of acidity on the tip of the tongue, but frankly it is so slight it could well have been my imagination.


Dear lord does it taste great! If I have to attempt to describe it I’d stick with the black currant and berries comparison with the slightest hint of bitterness. Imagine 1ml of aloe in a huge barrel. Which is to say it’s not a criticism, but rather a complementary flavour to the full bodied berries.

Will I buy it again?

Let’s just say this is not my first bottle of Kanonkop Paul Sauer and it certainly won’t be the last, but enough of my opinion, here’s what the back label says:


Lastly, should you still be curious at this point, the reason this bottle just had to be opened and enjoyed today of all days is we just made it past the first, and riskiest, trimester and can finally share the news with everyone that there’s a new addition en route (no, the wife didn’t get a single sip of this excellent wine):

baby 13wks

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