By law, wine in South Africa is produced from fresh grapes, and yeast, that can either occur naturally on the grapes or gets introduced to the must. Depending on various other considerations like style, grape quality and the health of the wine, additional additions of acid, sulfur dioxide, wood products, and various fining materials can be added.
Not all wines are created equal! (Johan Botha 2012)
Why then are not all wines created equal?
On a cellular level all wine in its purist form is a dynamic and ever-changing bio-chemical environment. It is a living and breathing entity!
Why do some wines get embraced, praised and acknowledged with awards on a regular basis?
If we had a simple and easily executable answer to this, all wines would equally bare the embrace of medals and awards. Unfortunately there exist no magic spell, no secret scientific formulae or even an idiot’s guide to producing award winning wines!
What I do know, is that wines receiving accolades regularly are produced by a synergy of many different inputs.
Vineyard monitoring and management, grape selection, site selection, micro climate manipulation, terroir and variety selection, vinification techniques, wine making philosophy, time, passion, patience, fortune, freedom of choice and human restraint all being of equal value to produce an iconic wine. And who knows, maybe more than often, some plain luck!
For this month’s spotlight I have chosen the following multi-awarded wines:
Saronsberg Full Circle 2010
The wine has a deep, dark purple colour with prominent dark fruit, red berry and ripe cherry flavours, followed by seductive spice and violet nuances. The pallet is textured and full-bodied with plush fruit and wild scrub notes, capsuled in silky tannins ending in a long finish.
International Wine Challenge 2012 – Silver Medal
Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2012 – Gold
Sawi Top SA Wines 2012 – Platinum
Lomond Pincushion Single-Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011
The wine has a brilliantly clear colour with green tinges. A delicate aroma of citrus, pineapple and a mix of tropical fruits on the nose is followed by an elegant palate with a fresh acidity that balances out the intense fruit flavours.
2012 FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Wines – Finalist
Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2012 – Bronze
International Wine Challenge 2012 – Bronze Medal
Top 100 SA Wines 2012 Status
Michelangelo International Wine Awards 2011 – Silver Medal
Weinwelt – German Magazine June/July 2011 – 89 Points
Decanter 2011 – Gold Award
Teddy Hall Dr Jan Cats Chenin Blanc Reserve 2010
Bright gold with green tinge, tropical fruit salad nose – pineapple and some quince. On the palate the balance is impeccable with grapefruit, vanilla and baked apple flavours. Underlining the wine’s pedigree is an intense finish which lingers long after the mouthful has been swallowed.
Wine Spectator rated Teddy Hall Dr Jan Cats Chenin blanc Reserve 2010 91 points
Top 100 SA Wines 2012
Medal winner at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2012
This wine received 4½ stars Platter’s 2012 wine
The only Chenin blanc gold Medal winner at the Classic Wine Trophy Show 2012,
Awarded top 10 Chenin for the 2012 Chenin Challenge run by the magazine Classic Wine.
Kaapzicht Chenin Blanc 2012
Ripe quince, pineapple and stone fruit, with some interesting savoury undertones. Lightly textured palate, with a hint of sweetness and balancing crunchy acid, results in a brisk finish.
Best Value Award winners for 2013
Michelangelo International Wine Awards 2012 – Gold Medal
Rijks Private Cellar Pinotage 2008
This crimson coloured wine has a unique elegant nose of red fruit and cherries, which is reminiscent of a great Pinot Noir. These attractive fruity aromas carry through onto a rich, creamy palate that is finished off with well-balanced refined tannins.
Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2012 – The Best Pinotage
2012 ABSA Pinotage Top 10 finalist
Double Gold Michelangelo
Trophy winner at International Wine & Spirits Competition for best Pinotage in the world
Trophy at Michelangelo for best Pinotage
Trophy at Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show for best Pinotage
Rated as 1 of the Top 100 wines in SA
Orange River Cellars Ruby Cabernet 2011
Deep, ruby-coloured with pronounced mocha coffee aromas, complemented by almond flavours on the palate.
Best Value Award winners for 2013
All six wines entered into the 2012 China Wine Awards won gold medals
Now that we have some excellent wines to drink, what shall we eat?
Tasty and easy to prepare, the following South African recipe is not only ideal for healthy and wholesome cooking, but also the perfect traditional South African dish to accompany our selection of bold and amazing reds:
South African Venison Pie with Red Wine and Rooibos Tea
By enjoying these, and many other, award winning South African wines and our traditional cuisine, you will soon realize that you have ample reason to be proudly South African!