The cold front battering the Western Cape since Tuesday has brought much needed and very welcome rain. Just as welcome are the newcomers in the competition for the coveted Absa Top 10 Pinotage trophy. Pinotage lovers can look forward to see which of their favourite wines among the Top 20 finalists will make it to the finals … The best of the best … The 2019 Absa Top 10 Pinotage winners. These winners will finally be revealed on 14 August 2019 at an awards function at Boschendal.

To say that the Absa Top 10 Pinotage trophy is a highly sought after accolade is an understatement – the 161 entries received by the competition organisers this year serve as confirmation of the popularity of the event. Judging took place at Nederburg a few weeks ago, with Winnie Bowman (Cape Wine Master) chairing the judging. Other panellists included Greg Sherwood (London based Wine Master), Razvan Macici (award winning winemaker), Nomonde Kubheka (winemaker connected to Pinotage Youth Development Academy), Frans Smit (Spier cellarmaster) and Solly Monyamane (protégé).

Of the Top 20 in the main competition, now in its 23nd year, five wineries have excelled with each having two of their wines selected for the final round of judging: Kanonkop and Simonsig of Stellenbosch, Wildekrans of Botrivier, Diemersdal of Durbanville and Windmeul of the Paarl region.

Stellenbosch has the lion’s share of representatives, with an impressive six contenders, followed by Paarl with three. Both Durbanville and Botrivier have two representatives each, followed by Swartland, Robertson, Breedekloof, Lutzville with one each. Three coastal region wines also stepped up to the plate this year. In terms of vintage representation, 2016 and 2017 shone the brightest with eight wines. Two younger wines, both from the 2018 vintage, and two older wines from 2015 also got the nod.

In recent years the ‘Pinotage Icon Class’ was introduced, showcasing the ageing ability of iconic Pinotage wines . Wine collectors patient enough to cellar their Pinotage for ten years or longer will be watching the results if this class anxiously.

Association chairman Beyers Truter says, “The Pinotage Association finds the exceptional quality of the wines produced by members hugely rewarding, and even more so the very representative list of finalists from most of the major South African wine regions. Several industry veterans, including me, are really proud of how Pinotage has grown in stature – a decade ago nobody would have believed that consumer demand would ever allow for some of the iconic Pinotage wines to eventually sell for as much as R1000 per bottle or even more!”

Tina Playne , Absa’s Head of Sectors and Segments Relationship Banking,  wishes the finalists well and confirms how proud Absa is of its association with the event for the past 23 years. She added that it is a great privilege to have walked such a long path with a classic slice of South African wine heritage that is Pinotage.


2019 Absa Top 10 Pinotage Finalists:

Anura Pinotage Reserve 2016
WO Simonsberg-Paarl (Anura), winemaker Stander Maass

Badsberg Pinotage 2018
WO Breedekloof (Badsberg Wynkelder), winemaker Henri Swiegers

Beyerskloof Winemaker’s Reserve Pinotage 2017
WO Stellenbosch (Beyerskloof Wyne), winemaker Anri Truter

Lutzville Francois le Vaillant Pinotage 2016
WO Lutzville Valley (Cape Diamond Wines), winemaker Christoff de Wet

Diemersdal Pinotage Reserve 2018
WO Durbanville (Diemersdal Landgoed), winemaker Thys Louw

Diemersdal MM Louw Pinotage 2017
WO Durbanville (Diemersdal Landgoed), winemaker Thys Louw

Fleur de Cap Series Privee Pinotage 2016
WO Coastal Region (Distell – Fleur du Cap Wines), winemaker Pieter Badenhorst

Kanonkop Pinotage 2015
WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch (Kanonkop Wine Estate), winemaker Abrie Beeslaar

Kanonkop Pinotage 2017
WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch (Kanonkop Wine Estate), winemaker Abrie Beeslaar

KWV The Mentors Pinotage (Coastal) 2017
WO Coastal origin (KWV), winemaker Izéle van Blerk

Môreson Widow Maker Pinotage 2016
WO Stellenbosch (Moreson), winemaker Clayton Reabow

Survivor Pinotage 2017
WO Swartland (Overhex Wines International), winemaker Ben Snyman

Simonsig Redhill Pinotage 2017
WO Stellenbosch (Simonsig Landgoed), winemaker Debbie Thompson

Simonsig Redhill Pinotage 2016
WO Stellenbosch (Simonsig Landgoed), winemaker Debbie Thompson

Viljoensdrift River Grandeur Single Vineyard Pinotage 2017
WO Robertson (Viljoensdrift Associated Wineries cc), winemaker Fred Viljoen

Vondeling Bowwood Pinotage 2016
WO Voor Paardeberg (Vondeling Wines), winemaker Matthew Copeland

Wildekrans Pinotage Barrel Select Reserve 2016
WO Botrivier (Wildekrans Wine Estate), winemaker Braam Gericke

Wildekrans Pinotage Barrel Select Reserve 2015
WO Botrivier (Wildekrans Wine Estate), winemaker Braam Gericke

Windmeul The Legend Collection Pinotage 2017
WO Coastal origin (Windmeul Kelder), winemaker Abraham van Heerden

Windmeul Pinotage Reserve 2016
WO Paarl (Windmeul Kelder), winemaker Abraham van Heerden



Pinotage Icon / Museum Class Finalists:

Fairview Primo Pinotage 2007
WO Coastal origin (Fairview), winemaker Anthony de Jager

Hill & Dale Pinotage 2007
WO Stellenbosch (Hill & Dale), winemaker Guy Webber

Rijk’s Private Cellar Pinotage 2009
WO Tulbagh (Rijk’s Cellars), winemaker Pierre Wahl


For more information, contact the Pinotage Association:
Twitter: @PinotageSA – #AbsaTop10Pinotage  #PinotageTop10