Category Archives: Top 100 SA Wines
To achieve success with Pinot Gris just doesn’t come easy. This makes the award-winning performance of De Grendel at the 2013 Pinot Gris Du Monde, an international competition held in Strasbourg, that much sweeter.
De Grendel’s win at Pinot Gris De Monde 2013 makes it the only wine producer from the Southern Hemisphere to win this coveted award, which forms part of Les Grands Concours du monde.
The cellar also tasted success with Pinot Noir, another medal-shy varietal in South African wine awards, with the inclusion of De Grendel Pinot Noir 2010 in the Top 100 SA Wines 2013, a prestigious local competition.
Pinot Gris Du Monde – De Grendel Pinot Gris 2012:
“Winning this highly prestigious international award holds special significance for us,” says De Villiers Graaff, director: De Grendel. “The status of this wine competition is soaring due to the credibility of its tasters from all over the world, including oenologists, wine growers, sommeliers, cellar directors and specialised journalists.”
Knowing that these international judges rated De Grendel Pinot Gris 2012 as world class means we can compete internationally on quality with great confidence,” says Graaff.
“This prestigious win comes at the right time for us,” he adds. “Pinot Gris is the big talking point in international wine circles, especially Europe, the USA and New Zealand, drawing consumer interest away from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Our own cellar door experience confirms this international trend. The 94 cases from our first vintage were upped to 1 000 cases in 2012 to meet demand.”
“Adding to the status of our win is that Pinot Gris is such a popular wine in France, while locally De Grendel is one of only a handful producers,” says Charles Hopkins, cellar master. “Our decision to go for the Alsace style paid off, resulting in a riper, more full-bodied wine rather than the lighter, more acidic Italian Pinot Grigio style.”
While the tightly packed bunches of blue gray Pinot Gris grapes may look unremarkable at first glance, the De Grendel cellar transforms it into gentle lime green tinged wine with a bright fruit palate, aromas of fresh apple, ripe pear, poached quince and a beguiling buttery richness: the makings of an international winner.
The Pinot Gris vineyards grow on slopes 200 meters above sea level in Deep Hutton soil. “We field-grafted a portion of our Cabernet Sauvignon plantings to Pinot Gris, which we believe performs very well under our cool conditions. We also pluck the leaves at strategic times for higher sugar levels – another factor contributing to the bigger structure of our Pinot Gris. Blending in 20% barrel-fermented Pinot Gris further add complexity to the wine.”
Named for its ‘pinecone grey’ colour, Pinot Gris is quite the food lover. Known to work well with robustly flavoured pork and chicken dishes, it has lead to inventive food and wine partnerships. Says Jonathan Davies of De Grendel Restaurant: “It works particularly well with a dish of pork, scallop and black pudding, with Pernod, sweet potato, orange and cabbage adding further layers of interest. The wine also goes splendidly with prawn and ricotta ravioli, which we finish with Pinot Gris butter to echo the buttery richness of the recent vintage. The fresh apple and pear flavours also inspired an apple crème brûlée, proving the wine can hold its own through all courses of a wintery meal.”
Top 100 SA Wines: De Grendel Pinot Noir 2010
“The Top 100 performance is also significant as awards for local Pinot Noirs are few and far between. It takes a long time to establish an award-winning pedigree for Pinot Noir under any brand, making the Top 100 award a big step towards our goal to be a reckoned producer of this varietal,” says Graaff.
Quite a feat, taking into account that in 2011, the launch year of the awards system, not a single Pinot Noir was included in the Top 100. Only one made it in 2012, while this year six Pinot Noirs are included against stiff competition from other top South African reds.
Hopkins explains that De Grendel’s Pinot Noir vineyards, reaching up to 350 m above sea level, benefit from the cooling Atlantic Ocean a mere 7 kilometers away. “The deep, well drained shale and slow ripening of the fruit all work together to produce Pinot Noir with distinct character: the international judges picked up on the red cherries, blackberries and roasted nuts; and velvet finish on the palate.”
The winter fare ahead is sure to deliver on the food-pairing promises of this remarkable wine. Says Chef Ian Bergh: “This winter we will be toasting the Top 100 success of De Grendel Pinot Noir with wild mushroom, venison dishes, slow-cooked lamb and braised beef.”
For more information visit www.degrendel.co.za
De Krans’ award-winning Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2009, currently available directly from the cellar or from selected retail outlets nationwide, was recently selected as one of the Top 100 Wines in South Africa at the 2013 Top 100 Wine Challenge, at an awards ceremony last week.
Growing in popularity the challenge saw record entry levels this year, which were up 15% on last year. From 440 of SA’s top wines entered, the winning wines included three Cap Classique wines, four Natural Sweet wines, five Port Style and Fortified wines, 27 White wines and 61 Red wines.
The wines were judged by an esteem panel, chaired by Tim Atkin MW. He was joined on the judging panel by Dawid Niewoudt, Paul Cluver, Dewaldt Heyns, Boela Gerber, Charles Back and tasting director Higgo Jacobs.
The De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2009 is produced using 62% Touriga Nacional, 36% Tinta Barocca and 2% Souzão grapes, and was aged for 22 months in old French oak. Winemaker Boets Nel describes their flagship port as having a vibrant plum colour, with dense aromas of prune, spice and tobacco. This premium port displays fleshy, chewy mouthful of flavours, showing tannic grip, concentrated red fruit nuances, and a firm structure ensuring considerable longevity, with the potential to mature for a further 20 to 25 years. Retailing for approximately R240 per bottle, savour this premium port on its own, or serve with stronger cheeses.
This vintage was awarded a 5-star rating in the 2012 Platter’s South African Wine Guide, as well as walking away with the title Overall Champion at the 2011 Southern Cape Bottled Wine Show.
For more information contact the cellar at 044 213 3314 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. De Krans wines are distributed nationally by Wine Worx (tel. 021 886 9165).
Four of Groot Constantia’s wines were selected as winners in this year’s prestigious Top 100 SA Wines awards, an objective, independent and professional rating of South Africa’s finest wines.
Winners were announced late last week and the winning Groot Constantia wines are: Groot Constantia Chardonnay 2012; Groot Constantia Gouverneurs Reserve (Red) 2010; Groot Constantia Grand Constance 2010 and Groot Constantia Shiraz 2010.
When the SA Top 100 Wine Show was started three years ago Groot Constantia had one wine under the Top 100. In 2012 the Estate had two wines on the Top 100 list and now in 2013 this has increased to an impressive four winners.
Boela Gerber, winemaker for Groot Constantia says that pithy methodology and attention to detail including serving temperature, decanting of wine and tasting all the wines at least twice, ensures that the results are a true reflection of the top 100 SA wines. “Taking into account the fact that entry levels are increasing and therefore becoming a Top 100 winner is getting tougher every year, we are extremely proud to have four wines chosen for the Top 100 list this year.”
Out of 440 wines entered into this year’s competition – a 15% increase on last year’s numbers – overall, 27 white wines gained entry, with 9 Sauvignon Blanc winners making it the biggest white winner by category. Red wines gained 61 winners. Red Bordeaux was the biggest category by some margin with 19 winners, followed by Shiraz with 10 winning wines. A positive reflection on Pinot Noir quality is that there were 6 winning wines. Both Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay each gained 4 wines onto the winner’s podium.
“The Top 100 wine team has arguably one of the best possible panels of judges consisting mainly of UK Masters of Wine, headed by renowned Tim Atkin,” says Gerber.
Local entrepreneur Robin von Holdt, to highlight the excellence of South African wines while providing an authoritative reference point for wine lovers internationally, founded the Top 100 SA Wines competition, now in its third year.
The 2013 competition was judged by a panel of high profile, well-respected wine judges, comprising Tim Atkin MW (Chair), Greg Sherwood MW, Justin Knock MW, Richard Kershaw MW (Panel Chair), Jamie Goode (Panel Chair), Jenny Ratcliffe-Wright CWM and Duncan Savage.
“We are delighted and proud of this amazing achievement – an excellent reward to our vineyard and winemaking team for their continuous drive to increase quality across the board. To have achieved this with a wide spectrum of varietals both in terms of red and white underlines their efforts and the versatility of this magnificent property,” concludes Jean Naudé, General Manager of Groot Constantia.
For more information visit www.grootconstantia.co.za.
Simonsig Estate has been ranked amongst South Africa’s top wine producers with three wines listed in the 2013 Top 100 SA Wines. Simonsig Cuvée Royale 2007 is one of only three Méthode Cap Classique wines to make the cut this year with two Simonsig red wines, the acclaimed Simonsig Red Hill Pinotage 2009 and Merindol Syrah 2010 also taking centre stage.
Cuvée Royale, the Prestige Cuvée of this family owned estate, South Africa’s first Méthode Cap Classique producer, also triumphed as the best Blanc de Blancs at the 2012 Amorim Méthode Cap Classique Challenge with the 2007 vintage making it the ultimate must-have for bubbly enthusiasts.
The 2013 Top 100 Simonsig Redhill Pinotage 2009 comes from a long lineage of Top 10 Pinotages and is a Veritas Double Gold medalist. The regal Merindol Syrah 2010, a top tier single vineyard Shiraz, is named after the French origins of the Malan family coat of arms.
Established in 2011, the 2013 Top 100 Wines, had a record entry of 440 of wines competing for a place amongst South Africa’s finest.
For more information or wine orders contact Simonsig Estate at Tel: (+27)21 888 4915 or visit www.simonsig.co.za.
Simonsig Wine Estate is located outside Stellenbosch, on the Kromme Rhee road between the R44 and R304.
Groote Post Reserve Sauvignon Blanc and Reserve Pinot Noir voted among South Africa’s Top 100 Wines At The 2013 Top 100 SA Wine Challenge
The Groote Post Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2012 and Groote Post Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 have been judged among South Africa’s ‘Top 100 Wines’ at the 2013 Top 100 SA Wine Challenge, an objective, independent and professional rating of South Africa’s finest wines.
Groote Post, the beautiful historic Cape West Coast farm, owned by the Pentz family, has its vineyard plantings, overlooking the icy Atlantic Ocean, on the cool sea- and south-facing upper slopes of the Kapokberg in the Darling Hills, an established prime wine-growing area.
Groote Post Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Groote Post’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2012, with an established award-winning pedigree, displays the typical Darling minerality that makes this area’s sauvignon blancs stand out. It is stacked with flavours of granadilla, green fig and green pepper, has a full and lingering finish and is a perfect food match. The Reserve Sauvignon Blanc calls for careful selection along the entire winemaking path, from the vineyards to the cellar.
The Groote Post Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2012 is widely available nationally at leading retailers and restaurants. Retail price: ±R120
Groote Post Reserve Pinot Noir 2009
The 2009 Groote Post Reserve Pinot Noir is a more European-style Pinot Noir than previous vintages, according to winemaker, Lukas Wentzel. He points to suitably restrained plum and raspberry notes with savoury, dried-beef flavours. A subtle hint of forest floor and mushrooms underpins the earthy characteristic of this Pinot Noir, yielding a refined and soft wine with silky smooth, finely-defined tannins. Judicious oaking (12 months in 2nd fill and older 500-litre French oak barrels) adds elegant vanilla and spice to a medley of dark berry flavours. The Groote Post Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 was the only Pinot Noir to receive Gold at the 2012 Veritas Awards (no Double Golds were awarded).
The Groote Post Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 is widely available nationally at leading retailers and restaurants. Retail price: ± R158.
The Top 100 SA Wine Challenge, now in its third year, was founded by local entrepreneur Robin von Holdt, to highlight the excellence of South African wines while providing an authoritative reference point for wine lovers internationally.
The 2013 competition was judged by a panel of high profile, well-respected international and local wine judges, comprising: Chair Tim Atkin MW (UK), Duncan Savage (SA), Greg Sherwood MW (UK), Jamie Goode (UK), Jenny Ratcliffe-Wright CWM (SA), Justin Knock MW (UK) and Richard Kershaw MW (SA). Higgo Jacobs, a respected sommelier and judge, in both local and international circles, presided over the tasting as Tasting Director.
A visit to Groote Post
Only an hour’s drive from Cape Town, Groote Post offers a rustic and rural atmosphere with undulating hills, vast open spaces and warm country hospitality.
In addition to a wide range of award-winning wines, Groote Post also presents:
• Cheese platters
• A superb culinary offering at Hilda’s Kitchen
• Picnics in summer
• Farm Drives through the 2 000-hectare Game Camp
• A jungle gym and rolling lawns where children can play
• Spectacular views of the Atlantic coast and Table Mountain
• Nature walks and bird-watching
Being part of the famous West Coast spring flower route and a member of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative, Groote Post also holds much appeal for environmentalists.
Double golden glory for newly released Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Eikendal, the prominent Stellenbosch cellar on the foot of the Helderberg renowned for its elegant Bordeaux-style red wines and fine Chardonnay, has raised its all-round winemaking talent with no less than seven impressive local and international awards added to its lineage in 2012.
The latest of the five top performing wines that contributed to Eikendal’s ‘star-studded year’ is the newly released Eikendal Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, which has already been crowned twice. This ‘gentle giant’ scored a gold medal at the 2012 Veritas Awards – South Africa’s premier wine competition – and international wine judges were equally impressed with this full-bodied, elegant red, when the 2010 vintage excelled with gold medal status at the annual MUNDUS Vini International Wine Awards 2012 in Germany. In addition its predecessor, Eikendal Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, was rated amongst the country’s finest at the Top 100 SA Wine Challenge for 2012.
Another red gem that shot to fame this year is Eikendal’s flagship Bordeaux-style red blend, Classique 2009, which streaked ahead of its competition with double trophy glory at the Old Mutual Trophy Awards 2012. This highly acclaimed wine won the Old Mutual Trophy for the Best Red Wine as well as the Riedel Trophy for the Best Bordeaux-style Red Blend. The estate’s white flagship, the elegantly wooded Eikendal Chardonnay 2011 also showed its mettle at this competition and walked off with a gold medal.
Earlier this year the Eikendal Merlot 2009 clinched gold at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards 2012 in the UK.
Perfectly positioned on the famed ‘golden slopes’ of South Africa’s red wine production area, Eikendal maximises its favourable terroir and close proximity to False Bay to produce great wines. The red varieties in particular, benefit from the cool conditions which allow slower, optimal ripening of the grapes. Eikendal’s location is also a premium pocket for producing exceptional Chardonnay with strong regional and varietal integrity, showcasing the best characteristics of the cultivar.
“2012 was an exceptional year for Eikendal. Whilst it still gives me great satisfaction to see people enjoying our wines, accolades such as these somehow remind me how much I truly love what I do and where I am. I’m glad to see that the wine on which we have built our reputation over the past 30 years still make us proud,” shares winemaker Nico Grobler.
More information on the Eikendal Cabernet Sauvignon 2010:
Described by the winemaker as ‘a wine that is more classic and refined in character rather than gutsy and powerful’, the latest vintage Eikendal Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 is a full-bodied, yet superbly smooth red that satisfies with a remarkable concentration of fruit and ripe tannins.
The first immediate impact is the bouquet – a sultry smack of bright red currant and black mulberry fruit harmoniously backed by lingering spice and tobacco nuances. Alluring with a deep garnet lustre, the wine unfolds gentle layers of earthy aromas and herbaceous tones, while a silky smooth mouthfeel is balanced by a lingering fresh acidity on the finish.
Barrel-maturation took place over 16 months to give the Eikendal Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 its richly layered fruit aromas and roundness. This wine shows great ageing potential and holds promise for further improvement over the next 8-10 years.
Recommended food partners: Try it with venison, succulent rump steak Mediterranean dishes or guinea fowl. It will go perfectly with your Sunday roast.
Recommended retail price: R110 per bottle directly from the cellar or at selected wine outlets countrywide.
For more information or wine orders contact Eikendal at Tel: (+27)21 855 1422 or email: email@example.com.
Doolhof has reinforced its position as one of the leading producers of Malbec on the South African wine scene by being included in the Top 100 South African Wine Challenge.
The Signatures of Doolhof Malbec 2010 was chosen from around 400 of South Africa’s top wines and one of only 51 red wines to be included in this prestigious list. The 2010 Signatures of Doolhof Malbec is the 4th Malbec vintage to be released and follows in the celebrated footsteps of the previous wines.
The 2007 vintage received double gold medals at the Michelangelo International Wine Awards, as well as the Tri Nations Wine Challenge, a gold medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards, as well as being chosen as the top Malbec in the annual Novare Terroir Wine Awards. The 2008 vintage clinched a gold medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards and the 2009 was awarded a gold medal at the Michelangelo International Wine Awards and received the honour of being chosen the Top Malbec at the Novare Terroir Wine Awards.
Doolhof is located in the historic Bovlei valley, north east of Wellington and currently 2.5 hectares of the 380 hectare farm is planted with Malbec. The Malbec vineyard was planted in 2003 and is the highest vineyard on the property situated just below the Bainskloof Pass. The location of this vineyard means that the vineyard team must compete with baboons and wild pigs for the grapes, resulting in limited production!
Doolhof Wine Estate is an accredited member of the Biodiversity in Wine Initiative which is an industry wide project to help promote the conservation of fynbos.
“One of the first decisions made on acquiring the farm was to plant Malbec, as we wanted all the Bordeaux cultivars on the property for blending purposes. It has not been an easy journey, but worth it,” says Dennis Kerrison, owner of the Estate
“I recall the 2008 vintage in particular. We planned to harvest on a Monday and on the Friday a major fire broke out below Bains Kloof burning all the way down to our farm. The Malbec was covered with ash. Then on Saturday and Sunday the heavens opened and heavy rain poured down, making it impossible to harvest on the Monday. We harvested a week later, and still managed a Decanter Gold! We dubbed this Malbec vintage Fire & Rain. I am constantly amazed by the versatility of this grape and we are set to make quality Malbec synonymous with the Doolhof brand.”
The current vintage on sale is the Signatures of Doolhof 2009, at R115.00 per bottle.
Elgin Vintners Shiraz 2008 Voted One Of South Africa’s Top 100 Wines At The 2012 Top 100 SA Wines Competition
The Elgin Vintners Shiraz 2008 has been judged one of South Africa’s Top 100 wines at the 2012 Top 100 SA Wines competition, an objective, independent and professional rating of South Africa’s finest wines. In addition the Elgin Vintners Shiraz 2008 also received a Best Value award.
This latest accolade for the Elgin Vintners Shiraz 2008 follows a Gold Medal at the 2011 Michelangelo International Wine Awards and selection by South African Airways for premium class passengers during April and May 2012.
Elgin Vintners is a partnership of six dedicated grape growers who, believing in the excellence of the Elgin terroir and diversity of their vineyards, combined their resources to cultivate, produce and market their range of fine quality Elgin Valley wines.
Elgin Vintners Shiraz 2008
The Elgin Vintners Shiraz 2008 is an elegant, cool-climate shiraz with a vibrant, dark garnet colour. On the nose the rich and decadent entry of toasty spice and dark plummy fruit entices you to taste and explore this wine further. The palate yields full, broad, dark fruits backed by hints of dark chocolate and spice. The overall balance between fruit sweetness, spice, well rounded tannins, combined with good barrel use, makes this a memorable wine.
The Elgin Vintners Shiraz 2008 was vinified by highly-respected shiraz expert, Niels Verburg. On receiving the award for the Elgin Vintners Shiraz 2008, an exuberant Niels enthused, “It is fantastic to get this recognition for cool-climate shiraz, a fitting endorsement of elegance and class. I have no doubt we will see this style of shiraz coming more to the fore as cool-climate vines mature.”
The Elgin Vintners Shiraz 2008 was made from grapes sourced exclusively from Elgin Vintners partner, Elgin Orchards, who very recently were awarded BWI Championship status. The shiraz vines were immaculately tended by Elgin Orchards viticulturist, Richard Rose, under the mentorship of Paul Wallace, one of the Elgin Vintners partners. The wine spent 14 months in barrel, 95% French and 5% American oak. 25% of the wooding regime was new wood.
The Elgin Vintners Shiraz 2008 retails nationally at approximately R95.
Top 100 SA Wines
The Top 100 SA Wines competition, now in its second year, was founded by local entrepreneur Robin von Holdt, to highlight the excellence of South African wines while providing an authoritative reference point for wine lovers internationally.
The 2012 competition was judged by a panel of high profile, well-respected international and local wine judges, comprising: Chair Tim Atkin MW (UK), Duncan Savage (SA), Greg Sherwood MW (UK), Jamie Goode (UK), Madeleine Stenwreth MW (Sweden), Monty Waldin (Italy) and Richard Kershaw MW (SA). Higgo Jacobs, a respected sommelier and judge, in both local and international circles, presided over the tasting as Tasting Director.
The Elgin Vintners partnership comprises: Paul Wallace, highly experienced viticultural consultant to the Elgin Vintners and owner of Wallovale Vineyards in Elgin, Alastair Moodie (Eikenhof farm which is a BWI Champion), Derek Corder (Beaulieu and Southern Cross Farms), James Rawbone-Viljoen (Blauwkrans, Helderfontein and Drumearn farms), Max Hahn (Elgin Orchards which is a BWI Champion) and Rob Semple (Brookelands farm). Paul’s wife, Nicky Wallace, although not officially a partner, is business manager and the glue that holds the Elgin Vintners team together.
Elgin Vintners is a proud member of the Groenlandberg Conservancy and Green Mountain Eco-Route, which was formed to promote eco-tourism in the Elgin region. All the Elgin Vintners shareholders are BWI accredited and extremely proud of their two BWI Champions, Eikenhof and Elgin Orchards.
Elgin Vintners recently moved to their new home at Morningstar Farm on the Oudebrug Road in Elgin; where they mature their Chardonnay in barrel, store their bottled wines and host wine-tastings, by appointment, in the Elgin Vintners Library.