The results of the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2012 were announced in Cape Town on 30 May 2012, with the Fairbairn Capital Trophy for the Top Producer going to KWV SA, edging Eikendal into second place, closely followed by Jordan Wine Estate and Vergelegen.
KWV’s top results came from winning the Miele Trophy for Best Chardonnay, the Best White Wine Trophy and the Trophy for the Best Museum Class Fortified. In addition, it collected 10 Silver and 16 Bronze medals. Eikendal won the Old Mutual Trophy for the Best Red Wine, the Riedel Trophy for the Best Bordeaux-style Red Blend and a Gold Medal for its Chardonnay. Jordan won the American Express Trophy for the Best Cabernet Sauvignon and the Best Chenin Blanc Museum Class Trophy; and Vergelegen swept up two Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Blend Trophies – one for the Museum Class.
With 1023 entries from 224 wineries, the Old Mutual Wine Trophy Show is an important benchmarking event on the South African wine calendar since its inception 10 years ago. The judging panel, led by Michael Fridjhon, comprises three international judges and six local judges, and the competition remains one of the most respected arbitrators of the top end of the South African wine industry.
Fridjhon was enthusiastic about the overall results, “We are accustomed to seeing a general year-on-year improvement and adjust our standards to take this into account. We call this ‘raising the bar’ and talk confidently about how a Silver medal of five years ago would only be a Bronze today. That said, we were simply unprepared for the wealth of fine wines across many of the classes – a result reflected in the highest number of Golds and Silvers ever awarded at this show.”
Other top vintages
Thelema’s Sutherland Viognier Roussanne 2009, which received a Gold Medal at the 2011 Show, this year, won the Grande Roche Trophy for the Best White Blend, as much a reflection of how the wine has evolved over time, as it is a tribute to the consistency of the judging panels over the two events.
The Secret Cellar Sauvignon Blanc 2011 collected the Old Mutual Discovery of the Show award. The Trophy is awarded to the Gold Medallist whose final score – at the trophy judging – divided by its declared price on the entry form, yields the highest index (adjusted for category). In short, it is an award for the best value Gold Medal wine, and this year may indeed have yielded the best value index in the history of the show.
The newly named Tony Mossop Trophy for the Best Cape Port – which recognises the role played by the late Tony Mossop in developing the Cape Port industry – was awarded to Mike Neebe, a shareholder of the property formerly owned by Tony Mossop, for the Axe Hill Cape Vintage 2009.
The Harold Eedes Trophy for the Show’s Best Chenin Blanc went to Tokara’s Miles Mossop for the Tokara Chenin Blanc 2009. Like Tony Mossop, the late Eedes was an iconic figure in the Cape wine industry – the founder of Wine Magazine and a driving force behind the improvement in wine quality, which this year’s Show results celebrate.
Fleur du Cap clinched two gold medals at the show for its legendary Noble Late Harvest 2010 and the 2011 Unfiltered Chardonnay.
Shiraz – largest class of entries, international trophy winner
Red wines were well represented, though without the same obvious depth of talent. Many of the classes had a single Gold medallist, with Shiraz (the largest class of entry at this year’s show) and Pinotage the exceptions.
“This year the representation across the classes suggests a broader, as well as a greater depth of talent. Shiraz nevertheless remains the largest class with 136 submissions,” comments Fridjhon.
The Old Mutual International Judges’ Trophy, for the wine that in the opinion of the three international judges was the best wine at the trophy judging, was awarded to the De Grendel Shiraz 2010. In theory, this wine will represent the Show’s top wine from an international perspective.
Jeremy Borg’s Painted Wolf Shiraz 2009 – winner of the British Airways Comair Trophy for the Show’s best Shiraz (and one of only three Gold medals in the 136-wine strong Shiraz class) – comes with its own conservationist message.
“To win one of only three gold medals awarded to Shiraz is an achievement for our whole team and validates the Grand Gold award this wine won at the Monde Selection in Brussels last year,” remarks Boschendal winemaker, Thinus Kruger. “Shiraz is a variety that really talks clearly about its origins and our 1685 Shiraz has a real sense of Boschendal, together with the unique traits of the 2009 vintage, which delivered wines with excellent concentration and complexity.”
More gold, silver awards speak to better quality
The show saw virtually the same number of entries as the 2011 event, but yielded a higher number of Gold and Silver medals. At the post-judging industry feedback session, the regular panellists – as well as the overseas judges with prior experience of the competition – commented on the markedly better quality of the top wines in most of the classes.
This is a clear indication of the ever-increasing number of fine wines available on the local market. In all, 42 Gold medals were awarded (compared with 25 in 2011) and of these, seven were from Museum Class entries (compared with five in 2011). Most of the major classes were represented among the Golds, though the absence of a Riesling among these top awards was a disappointment.
Cap Classique first, whites score well
The award of not one but two Gold medals in the Méthode Cap Classique category is a first in the history of the show. The Villiera Woolworths Vintage Reserve Brut 2007 took the Trophy, and the Du Preez Estate’s Hendrik Lodewyk MCC NV, the other Gold.
The five Chardonnay Golds, four Sauvignon Blanc Golds and three Chenin Blanc Golds speak for the strength of the white wine categories.
“Old Mutual is proud of its 11 year sponsorship of the country’s top wine competition,” says Joy Khaole, Old Mutual’s sponsorship manager. “Not only does it provide us with an opportunity to build relationships with wine lovers all over South Africa, but it enables us to play a crucial role in discovering talent and highlighting it both locally and on the international stage.”
Within the next two weeks, a series of tastings will be taken to six major centres countrywide including a Masterclass in Windhoek. Wine lovers in Cape Town and Johannesburg will be able to taste 218 (141 in 2011) Trophy, Gold, Silver and some Museum Class medal winning wines at public tastings. Each show visitor will receive a copy of the Icons – which contains details of all the winning wines, together with vintage information, advice about wine service and chapters contributed by all three international judges. Icons will appear with next week’s issue of Financial Mail and with the July issue of WineLand.
- Johannesburg: Friday 8 June 2012 6-9pm, Sandton Sun, Maroela Ballroom
- Cape Town: Friday 15 June 2012 5-8.30pm, CTICC Ballroom
- Ticket Sales: Tickets from Computicket www.computicket.com and at the door, R120 per person
- Wine Sales: Wines can be ordered via Makro at the shows, with delivery to your door
The Fairbairn Capital Trophy for the Most Successful Producer: KWV SA
The Old Mutual Trophy for Best Red Wine: Eikendal Classique 2009
The Old Mutual Trophy for Best White Wine: KWV The Mentors Chardonnay 2011
The Old Mutual International Judges’ Trophy: De Grendel Shiraz 2010
The Old Mutual Trophy for Best Sparkling Wine (Méthode Cap Classique): Villiera Woolworths Vintage Reserve Brut 2007
The Old Mutual Trophy for Best Dessert Wine (unfortified): Delheim Edelspatz Noble Late Harvest 2011
The Old Mutual Discovery of the Show: Secret Cellar Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (Ultra Liquors)
The American Express Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon: Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
The British Airways Comair Trophy for Best Shiraz: Painted Wolf Shiraz 2009
The Grande Roche Trophy for Best White Blend: Thelema Sutherland Viognier Roussanne 2009
The Harold Eedes Trophy for Best Chenin Blanc: Tokara Chenin Blanc 2009
The Miele Trophy for Best Chardonnay: KWV The Mentors Chardonnay 2011
The Riedel Trophy for Best Bordeaux-style Red Blend: Eikendal Classique 2009
The Tony Mossop Trophy for Best Cape Port: Axe Hill Cape Vintage 2009
The Best Museum Class Chenin Blanc: Jordan Chenin Blanc 2007
The Best Merlot: La Bri Merlot 2010
The Best Pinotage: Rijk’s Private Cellar Pinotage 2008
The Best Pinot Noir: Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve 2010
The Best Sauvignon Blanc (wooded): Nederburg Two Centuries Sauvignon Blanc 2009
The Best Sauvignon Blanc (unwooded): Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2010
The Best Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Blend: Vergelegen GVB 2010
The Best Museum Class Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Blend: Vergelegen 2007
The Best Semillon: Ormonde Ondine Semillon 2010
The Best Museum Class Semillon: Cape Point Vineyards Semillon 2008
The Best Museum Class White Blend: Lomond Snowbush 2008
The Best Museum Class Fortified Wine: KWV Reserve Port 1929
Other Gold Medal Winners:
Boschendal Wines Boschendal 1685 Shiraz 2009
Buitenverwachting Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc Husseys Vlei 2011
Deetlefs Wines Deetlefs Estate Pinotage 2010
Dombeya Wines Dombeya Altus 2007
Du Preez Estate Hendrik Lodewyk Méthode Cap Classique NV
Eikendal Vineyards Eikendal Chardonnay 2011
Fable Fable Jackal Bird 2010
Fleur du Cap – Die Bergkelder Fleur du Cap Chardonnay Unfiltered 2011
Fleur du Cap – Die Bergkelder Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest 2010
Le Joubert Le Joubert 1070 2009
Manley Private Cellar Manley Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Nuy Winery Nuy Red Muscadel 1989
Nuy Winery Nuy White Muscadel 1997
Remhoogte Wine Estate Remhoogte “Honeybunch” Reserve Chenin Blanc 2011
Rustenberg Wines Rustenberg Five Soldiers 2010
Steenberg Vineyards Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2011
Stellenzicht Stellenzicht Golden Triangle Pinotage 2010
Strandveld Vineyards Strandveld Adamastor 2010
Sumaridge Estate Wines Sumaridge Chardonnay 2010
A full set of results including the Silver and Bronze medals and a transcript of the judges’ feedback session are available on the disk and on www.trophywineshow.co.za.