Five wineries excel at Veritas

Top overseas experts meet for moment of truth
August 5, 2006
Taste SA’s Finest Wines
June 15, 2007

Five wineries excel at Veritas

Of the close to 1 700 wines that were entered for this year’s competition, 36 (2%) were crowned with double gold awards, 94 (6%) with gold, 383 (23%) with silver and 682 (41%) with bronze medals.

Wines of calibre

Winecorp in Stellenbosch raked in double gold medals for their 2004 Longridge Pinotage and 2004 Spier Vintage Selection Shiraz/Mourvèdre/Viognier blend. This wine company’s winning team  – Frans Smit (Cellar Master), Eleonor Visser and Kobie Viljoen –   also scooped up two gold medals with the 2005 Spier Private Collection Chenin Blanc (off-dry) and the 2004 Spier Private Collection Shiraz.

Christo Pienaar, winemaker and manager at Nuy winery near Worcester, couldn’t be more proud with his two double gold awards for the 2006 Nuy Colombar (semi-sweet) and 2005 Nuy Red Muscadel, as well as two gold medals for the 2006 Nuy Colombar (dry) and 2003 Nuy White Muscadel.

Judges were so impressed with the 2004 Cederberg Five Generations Chenin Blanc and the 2005 Cederberg Shiraz that double gold medals were awarded to these wines. Owner and winemaker David Nieuwoudt also received two gold medals for the 2004 Cederberg Shiraz.

Kanonkop in Stellenbosch amazed judges with their well-known 2004 Kanonkop Pinotage and the 2003 Kanonkop Paul Sauer – a Bordeaux-style blend that has been made since 1981. Both wines were honoured with double gold awards.

Another regular achiever from the Stellenbosch wine region was Rust & Vrede. Their 2003 Rust & Vrede Estate Wine – a red blend – and their 2004 Rust & Vrede Merlot both secured double gold medals.

Other wineries that performed well with one double gold and two or more gold awards include Badsberg, Bon Courage, Durbanville Hills, Graham Beck wines, Hartenberg, Nederburg and Raka.

Red Blends and Shiraz were awarded 7 double gold medals each with Sauvignon Blanc short on their heels with six (6), Merlot (4), Pinotage (3), Port (2), Muscadel (2), Chardonnay (1), Chenin Blanc (1), Colombar (1), Noble Late Harvest (1) and Méthode Cap Classique (1).

Shiraz earned 16 gold medals followed by Chardonnay (10), Red Blends (9), Cabernet Sauvignon (8), Merlot (7), Muscadel (7), White Blends (6), Chenin Blanc (5), Pinotage (5), Méthode Cap Classique (4), Sauvignon Blanc (3), Noble Late Harvest (3), Colombar (2), Dessert Wine (2), Natural Sweet Wine (1), Other White Cultivar (1), Pinot Noir (1), Gewürztraminer (1), Viognier (1), Rosé (1) and Other Red Cultivar (1).

A gold medal was awarded to a Grenache for the first time in the existence of the Veritas Awards – the 2004 Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Grenache. The 2005 Ridgeback Viognier was the only wine from this exceptional cultivar to achieve gold status.

The Veritas Awards has been presented by the South African National Wine Show Association (SANW) since 1992. Agri-Expo, who contributed significantly to the Veritas gala dinner, celebrates its 175th birthday later this month and has been involved with wine competitions in South Africa since 1833 with continued commitment to superior quality wines.

This year, the SANW reached an agreement with Checkers that will give them the opportunity to offer the widest selection of Veritas double gold and gold medal winners yet to the public in 120 of the “Wine Route” divisions located in their supermarkets countrywide.

International wine experts share their knowledge

A total of 1 673 wines competed in a taste-off at the Nederburg Auction Centre in Paarl in September. For the third consecutive year – Shiraz with 210 entries – was the largest class followed by Cabernet Sauvignon (182) and Sauvignon Blanc (170).

This year’s entries were evaluated over four days by 16 expert panels of seven judges each.  Eight international adjudicators joined more than 100 local judges to ensure that only wines of the highest quality were honoured with Veritas Awards.

The international panel included the Australian Chardonnay expert and retired winemaker of Leeuwin Estate, Bob Cartwright, well-known former auctioneer of the Nederburg Wine Auction, Patrick Grubb (MW) from Britain, respected Canadian wine writer, Steve Thurlow and the awarded Sommelier and wine consultant, Joelle Marti-Baron from Britain. The UK-based Master of Wine and Cape Wine Master, Lynne Sherriff, Thomas Lüber, wine buyer of the German import company Cape Wine Suppliers, Madelein Stenwerth head buyer of System Bologet in Sweden and South African wine specialist and author, Dave Hughes, added their expertise to the panel.

Taste the success

Taste this year’s Veritas double gold and gold winners at the Veritas wine tastings, which will be held in Cape Town on Wednesday 18 October from 17:00 to 21:00 at the Southern Sun Cape Sun Hotel, Strand Street and in Johannesburg on Tuesday 24 October from 17:00 – 21:00 at the Sandton Convention Centre.

Cheeses crowned with Qualité Awards for superior quality will also be available for tasting at both events.

Tickets are limited at R85 per person in Cape Town and R95 each for Johannesburg residents. The entrance fee includes a tasting glass, light snacks and a pocket-size Veritas results booklet. Book in advance at Computicket outlets or online at www.computicket.com.

This year’s wine tastings are supported by the professional services firm, Deloitte, who shares Veritas’ quest for excellence in South African Wine.

The full results are available online at www.veritas.co.za. A search facility has been developed for the website to list Veritas medal winners of the past 15 years.

Contact Elsabé Ferreira for further details about the results or wine tastings at the SANW, tel (021) 807 3104 or e-mail ferreira@vinpro.co.za.

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