South African vinous masterpieces are again strutting their stuff in the countdown to this year’s Absa Perold Cape Blend awards presentation. The competition has grown in stature since its inception in 2011, with winemakers cherishing the opportunity to present their take on South African combinations using Pinotage as the key component.
The taste-off was introduced to showcase the best expressions of various Pinotage-oriented wine styles, and next month – on 4 October at the Overture Restaurant of Hidden Valley in the Helderberg, Stellenbosch – five of the latest submissions will earn their makers what is becoming one of the most coveted prizes in the SA wine industry. It is great to see the constant introduction of new interpretations of the Cape Blend concept and how in sync winemakers are with their terroir and production techniques to increase the quality every year.
As Pinotage Association vice-chair De Wet Viljoen reiterates: “The aim is to promote bold, vibrant wines truly representative of South Africa, wines with a significant Pinotage component that possess the kind of complexity, balance and maturation potential that will stand out on the world stage.”
Jacques Roux, convener of the judging panel, indicated that is encouraging to see how winemakers use their best grapes to craft exceptional wines and in so doing set benchmarks of excellence that their estates are capable of. He says it is delightful to assess premium bottlings from winemakers with different approaches to their art.
According to John Tshabalala, Absa’s Provincial Managing Executive in the Western Cape, Pinotage and the Cape Blend category of wines are truly unique jewels in the crown that is the South African wine industry.
“This partnership reflects our long-standing commitment not only to the Pinotage Association but to the South African wine industry as a whole. Our corporate philosophy is strongly centred around ideas, innovation and creativity, and the Cape Blend winemakers reflect these values with their dynamic and passionate search for wines that have their own identity, are creatively put together and reflect the excellence of Brand South Africa, of which we as a bank are proud to be a part of,” says Tshabalala.
“Our continued involvement with this competition is inspired by our confidence in the new generation of South African winemakers who are working hard to increase the prestige and sophistication of wines produced in South Africa.”
The 10 finalists this year are from cellars in Wellington, Walker Bay, Swartland, Olifants River and Stellenbosch, as well as Paarl, where Windmeul Cellar continues its phenomenal year as the only producer nominated for an Absa Perold Cape Blend trophy who earlier triumphed at the 2017 Absa Top 10 Pinotage awards.
TOP 10 IN 2017 ABSA PEROLD CAPE BLEND COMPETITION
Bosman Family Vineyards Erfenis 2014
WO Wellington: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Merlot, Petit Verdot
Cape West Shiraz Pinotage Limited Release 2015
Namaqua Wines, WO Olifants River
Cape West Cabernet Sauvignon Pinotage Limited Release 2015
Namaqua Wines, WO Olifants River
Idiom Cape Blend 2013
WO Stellenbosch: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Merlot, Petit Verdot
Idiom Cape Blend 2015
WO Stellenbosch: Pinotage, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz
Lyngrove Platinum Latitude 2015
WO Stellenbosch: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Shiraz
Pulpit Rock Louisa Reserve 2014
WO Swartland: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Petit Verdot
Simonsig Frans Malan Cape Blend 2015
WO Stellenbosch: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
Springfontein Limestone Rocks Whole Lotta Love Cape Red Blend 2015
WO Walker Bay: Pinotage, Shiraz, Petit Verdot
Windmeul Cape Blend Reserve 2015
WO Coastal: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot