Spier peaks among record Veritas double golds

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Spier’s creativity clinches the 2021 Veritas Vertex Award
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The search is on for SA’s best new wine writer
October 14, 2021
Spier’s creativity clinches the 2021 Veritas Vertex Award
November 29, 2021

Spier peaks among record Veritas double golds

Spier Wines walked away with the top trophy at the 2021 Veritas Awards for its 2018 Spier Creative Block 5, a Bordeaux-style blend – where a record number of Double Gold medals were also presented to spontaneous applause, reflecting the rejuvenated wine industry mood.

Other stars of the event were KWV and Distell that clinched six Double Gold medals each, while Kleine Zalze and Spier were on their heels with four Double Gold each. KWV also took top honours in the brandy category, with the first perfect, 100-point score brandy ever entered, the KWV 15 Year Alambic Blend Potstill Brandy. The highlight in the wine category was the De Grendel Shiraz, in a 1.5L bottle, that achieved the first ever 98 points for a wine.

The results were announced at an informal luncheon in Paarl, like last year, featuring 88 Double Gold and 147 Gold medals amidst an atmosphere of excitement about the awarded wines and brandies following the crippling past two years’ Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

The highlight of the event – held outdoors under strict Covid-19 protocols at the Val de Vie Estate Polo Club today (Saturday 6 November) – was the handing over of the

Duimpie Bayly Veritas Vertex Award for the overall champion wine from almost         1 300 entries this year, to Spier cellarmaster Johan Jordaan.

The 2018 Spier Creative Block 5 blend netted him this “highest point” (vertex) hand-crafted glass trophy, named this year in honour of legendary industry role player Duimpie Bayly, who passed away in August. It is  the second time that a red wine clinches this top trophy since being introduced in 2017 under the Vertex Award banner,  as well as the second Bordeaux style blend that achieves this.  It is also the second time that Spier walks away with this trophy. All the Double Gold wines, with the exception of Fortified and Museum Class medals, are judged by a new panel on the last day for this award.

KWV and Distell produced excellent results this year with six Double Gold medals each – but KWV clinched 10 Gold medals, four ahead of Distell’s six Gold medals. Kleine Zalze and Spier were on their heels with four Double Gold and five Gold each.

See medal breakdown of top wines and brandies below. 

Top wine scores on labels

Ground-breaking news was also announced at the awards function, namely that consumers will now have the opportunity to find more information on the bottles of the Double Gold and Gold medal-winning wines. The award stickers will in future display the score that the particular wine was awarded by the judges. For Double Gold the scores will range from 93 – 100, while those of the Gold winners will range from 90 – 92.

Said Veritas chairperson Christo Pienaar, “We believe that by revealing the actual score of these awarded wines, further credit will be given to the wines, the winemakers and their teams, including the viticulturists.”

Consumers can buy the Veritas Award-winning wines with confidence as all the entries to Veritas are monitored by the SA Wine Industry Information and Systems (Sawis) to comply with the competition’s strict rules. This includes verifying the various applicable documents and the Wine of Origin and bottling and labelling details.

Marathon judging

Veritas Awards attracted almost 1 300 entries this year, which were judged by an authoritative jury of 64 local specialists during a five-day blind tasting session. The scaled-down panels consisted of three members each, in line with the strict Covid-19 protocols applied. Due to current travel restrictions no international judges participated this year.

Veritas implemented a world-leading wine judging sanitation system – in collaboration with Tharo Wine – last year already by employing advanced ultra-violet and ozone air-and-surface sanitation techniques – in addition to comprehensive, specially formulated, protocols to ensure the most virus-safe environment possible for all involved. The entire judging process was audited by LDP auditors.

Great success with online wine-buying app

Consumers are now able to buy the award-winning wines on the Veritas App. The Vice-chairperson of Veritas, Bennie Howard, says that they are thrilled by the phenomenal success of the Vino Veritas App by CTP.  “We launched this App last year to enable consumers to buy the award-winners directly online for door-to-door delivery by our partner, GetWine, and consumers were ecstatic with this service.”

This means that the wine- and brandy-buying public can download the App on their smartphones or PCs, access the results immediately and order any of the 235 products that won Double Gold or Gold at the 2021 Veritas Awards. Register on Android or Google with the words “VinoVeritas by CTP”. 

Public wine tastings

Good news for consumers is that a number of tastings of the Double Gold and Gold wines are planned for the next four months, depending on restrictions applying under the latest Covid regulations. These tastings will be announced in the press, social media and on the website.

Seven living legends honoured

The Veritas tradition of annually honouring industry leaders that was instituted in 2009, was continued this year after being held back last year due to Covid regulations. Hereby seven luminaries received the 2021 Living Legend Scroll of Honour for their dedication to and enthusiasm and passion for the local wine and brandy industries. They are Kowie du Toit, Celia Gilloway, Marius Labuschagne, Carel Nel, Johan Pienaar, Erica Platter and Don Tooth.



KWV – six Double Gold (in addition to 10 Gold):

KWV The Mentors Perold 2017

KWV The Mentors Perold 2018

KWV The Mentors Canvas Western Cape 2019

KWV The Mentors Cabernet Franc 2018

KWV The Mentors Orchestra 2011

KWV Roodeberg Dr Charles Niehaus 2017

Distell – six Double Gold (in addition to six Gold):

Durbanville Hills Blanc de Blancs Cap Classique 2017

Durbanville Hills The Tangram White Blend 2016

Durbanville Hills Rhinofields Noble Late Harvest 2014

Durbanville Hills Caapmans Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2006

Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2012

Zonnebloem Laureat Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2018

Kleine Zalze – four Double Gold (five Gold):

Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sur Lie Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sur Lie Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sur Lie Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Spier – four Double Gold (five Gold):

Spier Frans K Smit White 2018

Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2020

Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2015

Spier Creative Block 5 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Petit Verdot/Malbec 2018

Three wineries also excelled with three Double Gold medals each in addition to Gold, namely Benguela Cove (and two Golds), Flagstone (one Gold) and Ghost Corner (one Gold). Seven wineries earned two Double Gold: Graham Beck, Simonsig, Glenelly, Groot Constantia, Babylonstoren, Belle Rebelle and Stellenbosch Hills. 

In the class for Certified Heritage Vineyard Wines, the 2020 Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc Limited Release, won a Double Gold award in this class for vineyards older than 35 years.


KWV achieved honours in the brandy category with the first 100-point score brandy ever and with four Double Gold and one Gold. Distell was a close second with three Double Gold and one Gold medal.

KWV’s Double Gold were:

KWV 3 Year Old Finest Blend

KWV 10 Year Old Potstill Brandy

KWV 15 Year Alambic Blend Potstill Brandy –100 points

KWV 20 Year Potstill Brandy


Nuy took the lead with four Double Gold and one Gold, followed by Boplaas with three Double Gold and two Gold, and Van Loveren’s one Double Gold.

Nuy Wine Cellar – four Double Gold:

Nuy Wit Muskadel 2007

Nuy Wit Muskadel 2013

Nuy Rooi Muskadel 1990

Nuy Barbiri Idro Barrel Matured Rooi Muskadel 2015 


The Best Achiever in the class for ten wines or less was Flagstone Winery, while KWV won the Best Achiever class for more than ten wines entered. Fortified wines, Museum and Brandy class medals are excluded for this calculation.


The Veritas Awards, attracted 1 285 medal contenders this year. In total, 1 108 medals were awarded – 88 Double Gold, 147 Gold, 199 Silver Outstanding, 411 Silver and 263 Bronze.

The seven most keenly contested categories in terms of entries received were: Red Blends (166), Sauvignon Blanc (150), Cabernet Sauvignon (110), Shiraz (107), Chenin Blanc (104), Chardonnay (93) and Pinotage (86).  A total of 24 brandies were entered in three categories: Standard and Potstill.

Top scorers in the Double Gold medal stakes for Wine were Red Blends (12), Sauvignon Blanc (11), Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc and Cap Classique (6), Chardonnay (5), Pinotage and Museum White (4), Museum Red (3), Merlot, Museum NLH, Shiraz and White Blends with 2 medals each.

A Double Gold medal each was awarded to Cabernet Franc, Cap Classique Rosé, Heritage Vineyard Wines, Museum Cap Classique, Other Red Cultivars, Riesling and Sémillon. 

Double golds for Fortified wines Cape Style and Red Muscadel (2) and with 1 medal each were Museum Cape Vintage, Museum Red Dessert Wine, Museum White Dessert Wine and White Muscadel.

Potstill Brandy excelled with 7 Double Gold awards and Standard Brandy (1)

In the Gold medal stakes, Red Blends (30) were tops, followed by Sauvignon Blanc (23), Merlot (10), Cabernet Sauvignon and Cap Classique with 8 medals each, then Chardonnay (7), Chenin Blanc (5), Shiraz (5), Museum: White Wine, Pinotage, Potstill Brandies and White Blends with 4 medals each.  Three medals were awarded to Cap Classique Rosé, Cape Style, Colombar and Dessert Wine followed by two medals each for Cinsaut, Museum Red, NLH, Standard Brandies and Viognier. One medal each was awarded to Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Museum Cap Classique, Museum Cape Vintage, Museum Dessert White Wine, Natural Sweet, Other Red Cultivars, Pinot Noir, Red Muscadel, Riesling, Straw Wine, White Muscadel and White Wine from Red Cultivars. 

Contact us

For more information, visit www.veritas.co.za or contact the Veritas office at tel 021 863 1599, e-mail info@veritas.co.za

For a full awards breakdown see www.veritas.co.za

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Issued by Veritas Awards

Contact Bennie Howard, Vice-chairman or Elsabé Ferreira, GM