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2014

Taj Classic Wine Trophy 2014: triomphe d'Hamilton Russell et de Morgenster
RVF July 2014


Classic Wine Trophy Winners
GQ article june 2014


Creation Wines Shine!

The Creation Wines team is pleased to announce that they have received two trophies at the prestigious Taj Classic Wine Trophy awards function, held at the Taj Hotel in Cape Town on 7 March 2014. An experienced panel of French judges tasted the wines and only five producers received more than one trophy. The 2010 Creation Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot blend and the 2012 Creation Pinot Noir each won a coveted Bacchus Trophy.

Creation is situated on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge where its well-established vineyards enjoy ideal, cool maritime conditions and a continental climate. Its owners, Jean-Claude and Carolyn Martin, credit these factors for the ever-growing list of accolades received for their wines. Among the more recent ones is a gold trophy at Vinidivio 2013 for the 2012 Creation Reserve Pinot Noir. The wine was also selected for the Top 100 SA Wines list for 2013 and awarded Grand Gold at the 2013 SAWI Wine Excellence Awards.

Commenting on Creation’s success with Pinot Noir, Jean-Claude says: “Pinot Noir is the ultimate test in winemaking and Creation’s virus-free vines coupled with cooler night temperatures and long ripening result in great fruit with a natural acidity.”

But it is not only Creation’s red wines that excel. The 2013 Creation Chardonnay was recently a trophy winner in the 2014 What Food What Wine? Competition (in the Over R100 Category). This once again proves the food compatibility of their wines. “Thanks to the refreshing natural acidity that cleanses the palate, the good balance of fruit flavours and tannins and the judicious use of oak, our wines are exceptionally food-friendly,” explains Carolyn.

Indeed, Creation has become famous for their Wine and Food Pairing and was the winner of the inaugural KLINK Award for Best Food and Wine Pairing on a wine farm.

Their exciting Secret Wine and Food Pairing as well as their Paradoxical Wine and Chocolate Pairing have become equally popular.

Photo: Jean-Claude Martin, owner and cellar master at Creation Wines in the Hemel & Aarde Ridge with the awards won at the recent Taj Classic Wine Trophy Awards.


Morgenster and HRV most applauded by French judges at 2014 Classic Wine Trophy awards function in Cape Town

Giulio Bertrand's Morgenster Estate
in Somerset West, renowned for
Bordeaux-style reds and olive oil

UNIQUE insofar as it's the only wine competition in South Africa where all of the judges are French, the annual Classic Wine Trophy taste-off is hosted at the Taj Hotel in Cape Town and this year there were two producers who grabbed most of the glory - Morgenster of Somerset West and Hamilton Russell Vineyards of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley outside Hermanus each collecting a pair of trophies and prizes for 'Most Iconic' entries.

The organisers don't say how many wines were entered and there's no indication of whether leading cellars who didn't feature on the honours list participated or not - you're left unsure as to just how strongly contested the categories were. The laureates are limited to Bacchus Trophy winners - no runners-up announced - and the 19 winning wines were fielded by 14 producers, five of them called up to the podium more than once.

That said, besides the grand champions there are several other stand-outs among the stand-outs - not the least of which are the Botmaskop blend from Delaire Graff in Stellenbosch, with 2012 the latest in a string of four impressive vintages, and the Reserve Chardonnay from Chamonix, Franschhoek, where cellarmaster Gottfried Mocke has hardly put a foot wrong since joining the winery back in 2001.

CLASSIC WINE TROPHY WINNERS:

Bellingham The Bernard Series Small Barrel SMV 2012 (red blend)
Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve 2012
Creation Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Petit Verdot 2010
Creation Pinot Noir 2012
Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2012 (red blend)
DeMorgenzon Chenin Blanc 2013
Glen Carlou Grand Classique 2011 (red blend)
Groot Constantia Chardonnay 2013
Groot Constantia Gouverneurs Reserve Red 2011
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2012
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2013
La Motte Pierneef Collection Shiraz Viognier 2011
Morgenster 2003 (red blend)
Morgenster 2010 (red blend)
Rudera Noble Late Harvest 2010
The High Road Classique 2010 (red blend)
Villiera Monro Brut 2008 (Cap Classique sparkling)
Whalehaven Chardonnay 2012
Whalehaven Merlot 2011

For more information about the competition, the judges and the sponsors, click here to link through to the Classic Wine Trophy website.

By Mike Froud, Top Wine SA


The Taj Wine Classic Award winners

Blog by Deni Archer

The annual TAJ Classic Wine Trophy awards ceremony was held on the 8th of March 2013 at the Taj Hotel. The awards celebrate the top SA wineries as adjudicated by a panel of respected French judges. Many of the winning wines are terroir wines - which means there is a strong correlation between their taste and the geology of the area they are grown. Wine expert Neil Pendock predicted that terroir wine will be South Africa’s saving grace in defending against “the scourge of bulk wine”.

The winning wine farms also include many boutique wine farms, where grapes are handpicked and wine is craft-cultivated. Here are the 14 winners:

Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve 2010
Groot Constantia Shiraz 2010
Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve 2011
Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve 2011
Chamonix Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2010
La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Viognier 2010
Saronsberg Viognier 2011
Saronsberg Full Circle 2010
Vergelen V Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Whalehaven Merlot 2010
Hamilton Russel Chardonnay 2011
Franschhoek Cellars Semillon 2012
Delaire Graff Estate Cabernet Sauvignon reserve 2009
Perdeberg Weisser Riesling Reserve 2011 Natural Sweet
Six of the 14 winners were also chosen to be served in the Taj restaurant and to be featured in GQ magazine. They Are:
Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve 2011
Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve 2011
Chamonix Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2010
Hamilton Russel Chardonnay 2011
Delaire Graff Estate Cabernet Sauvignon reserve 2009
Perdeberg Weisser Riesling Reserve 2011 Natural Sweet


Groot Constantia’s brand new Chardonnay takes Gold at the Taj Classic Wine Trophy

Groot Constantia’s 2013 Chardonnay has been awarded its 1st trophy at the recent Taj Classic Wine Trophy awards, held at the Taj Hotel in Cape Town from the 3rd to the 7th March 2014. This exciting new wine, which is so young it is yet to be labelled, shows great promise after such an auspicious introduction to the world of wine lovers.

Groot Constantia’s 2011 Gouverneurs Reserve Red also received a Bacchus Trophy at the 2014 Taj Classic Wine Trophy awards.

The winning wines were selected by an experienced panel of French judges, who recognize, reward and promote elegance, balance, finesse, ageability and sense of place.The panel, under the auspices of Olivier Poels, editor and managing partner of La Revue du Vin de France, comprised: Olivier Poussier, the best sommelier in the world winner, wine consultant, writer and group sommelier of Lenôtre; Claude Gilois, well-known French wine writer, consultant and wine blogger; Philippe Dietrich, winemaker and director of Michael Petzold Wine Services; Christophe Durand, Taj Classic Wine Trophy organizer and proprietor of Dorrance Wines; Jean-Yves Muller, co-owner of Sotano and Petit Caveau restaurants; and GermainLehodey, sommelier of Mosaic restaurant.

Wines were judged in panels of three, over three rounds, and were blind tasted to select a shortlist, which was then re-tasted blind by all judges in the Grand Finale.

Before the results were revealed, a panel of South African judges selected six wines from the BacchusTrophy winners that presented the best overall value. The awarded wines, which include Groot Constantia’s 2013 Chardonnay, will be showcased in GQ South Africa and served in the Taj Hotel Cape Town over the month of July 2014.

Groot Constantia’s wines continue to achieve outstanding results and in fact, collectively the 2013 Chardonnay, 2011 Gouverneurs Reserve Red, 2012 Chardonnay, the 2010 Grand Constance, the 2010 Gouverneurs Reserve Red, the 2012 Sauvignon Blanc and the 2010 Shiraz have scooped a total of 13 gold awards since October of 2012.

“It is thanks to our dynamic team who spend so much time and energy in the vineyards that we can lay claim to these awards. Approximately six years ago we took a new direction in the vineyards and the improvement in quality has been amazing,” says Boela Gerber, Winemaker for Groot Constantia. “It is very exciting to see our hard work and new approaches reaping the rewards and we expect to continue to see our wines doing great things.”

For more information visit www.grootconstantia.co.za.


The 16th edition of the TAJ Classic Wine Trophy took place last week.

With 4 days of blind tasting South African wines, with again a prestigious panel of French judges, including Olivier Poussier (best sommelier of the world), let’s find out which ones stood out for them…

With 340 wines entered, only 19 were awarded the Bacchus Trophy during the dinner that closed the competition last Friday and get the chance of being featured in La Revue du Vin de France.

With such a long dinner and so many wines to taste, it was very difficult to go through them all. But we think we managed that quite well, by emptying and rinsing our glasses after only one or two sips.
Like the judges, we were, as usual, very impressed by Hamilton Russel, who won the prize for most iconic entry with Morgenster.

For the whites, we really liked the Hamilton Russel chardonnay 2012 & 2013 as well as the Whalehaven chardonnay 2012.
When it came to the reds, Glen Carlou Grand Classique 2011, Bellingham The Bernard Series Small Barrel SMV 2012 (new for us but amazing) and Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2012, were for us the best ones.

We won’t list all the winners, as the list is quite long, but you’ll find it soon on their website, and as well a selection by South African tasters that will be featured on GQ in June and served at the TAJ.

We are very happy that South African wines is more and more often rewarded each year, thanks to the vineyards and specially the hard working winemakers.

http://lecapetownjournal.com/classic-wine-trophy-2014/


Morgenster and HRV most applauded by French judges at 2014 Classic Wine Trophy awards function in Cape Town

Giulio Bertrand's Morgenster Estate
in Somerset West, renowned for
Bordeaux-style reds and olive oil

UNIQUE insofar as it's the only wine competition in South Africa where all of the judges are French, the annual Classic Wine Trophy taste-off is hosted at the Taj Hotel in Cape Town and this year there were two producers who grabbed most of the glory - Morgenster of Somerset West and Hamilton Russell Vineyards of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley outside Hermanus each collecting a pair of trophies and prizes for 'Most Iconic' entries.

The organisers don't say how many wines were entered and there's no indication of whether leading cellars who didn't feature on the honours list participated or not - you're left unsure as to just how strongly contested the categories were. The laureates are limited to Bacchus Trophy winners - no runners-up announced - and the 19 winning wines were fielded by 14 producers, five of them called up to the podium more than once.

That said, besides the grand champions there are several other stand-outs among the stand-outs - not the least of which are the Botmaskop blend from Delaire Graff in Stellenbosch, with 2012 the latest in a string of four impressive vintages, and the Reserve Chardonnay from Chamonix, Franschhoek, where cellarmaster Gottfried Mocke has hardly put a foot wrong since joining the winery back in 2001.

CLASSIC WINE TROPHY WINNERS:

Bellingham The Bernard Series Small Barrel SMV 2012 (red blend)
Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve 2012
Creation Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Petit Verdot 2010
Creation Pinot Noir 2012
Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2012 (red blend)
DeMorgenzon Chenin Blanc 2013
Glen Carlou Grand Classique 2011 (red blend)
Groot Constantia Chardonnay 2013
Groot Constantia Gouverneurs Reserve Red 2011
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2012
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2013
La Motte Pierneef Collection Shiraz Viognier 2011
Morgenster 2003 (red blend)
Morgenster 2010 (red blend)
Rudera Noble Late Harvest 2010
The High Road Classique 2010 (red blend)
Villiera Monro Brut 2008 (Cap Classique sparkling)
Whalehaven Chardonnay 2012
Whalehaven Merlot 2011


The High Road takes centre stage at the 2014 TAJ Classic Wine Trophy

Published: 10 March 2014


The High Road, the petite Stellenbosch boutique winery known for superbly elegant Bordeaux-style reds, took centre stage at the 2014 TAJ Classic Wine Trophy in Cape Town, securing a trophy for its Classique 2010.

The High Road takes centre stage at the 2014 TAJ Classic Wine Trophy
The High Road Classique 2010 was awarded the trophy in the red blend category by a panel of respected French wine judges under the auspices of Olivier Poels, editor of La Revue du vin de France. Already in its 16th year, this wine competition is held annually in celebration of South African wine and seeks to recognise and reward wines of elegance, balance, finesse, ageability and sense of place.

Crafted from the classic Bordeaux varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon (41%), Merlot (39%) and Cabernet Franc (20%) by winemaker Mark Carmichael-Green, The High Road Classique 2010 is a fruit forward wine showing well integrated ripe black cherries and mulberries on the nose and the palate offset by gentle French Oak nuances. Velvety ripe, soft, juicy tannins make this wine eminently drinkable now, but there is plenty of room for further development if left to mature with optimal cellaring.

The wine sells for R110 per bottle at the cellar door, or better still, join The High Road Wine Club and get 20% off. Following the time honoured model of small Bordeaux producers in France, The High Road prefers to sell its wines directly to consumers through its wine club as well as selected specialist wine shops, restaurants and special interest groups. All it takes to join is the commitment to buy a minimum of 24 bottles of High Road wine annually. Orders of 12 bottles or more will be delivered to your door free of charge. All members qualify for VIP invitations to sample new releases in Johannesburg and Cape Town, complimentary tastings at the cellar in Stellenbosch, as well as preferential access to limited release, older vintages and exclusive collections.

For more information, visit www.thehighroad.co.za or emailclub@thehighroad.co.za.

Daily tastings at The High Road cellar in the vibrant Bosman’s Crossing precinct of Stellenbosch are by appointment only. To make and appointment, phone 076 044 5020.


 

The Taj Classic Wine Trophy Winners

The splendid Taj Hotel Cape Town, in association with La Revue du VIN de France, Tonnellerie Claude Gillet, DORRANCE Wines, GQ South Africa and Tonnellerie Darnajou hosted the 16th edition of the TAJ Classic Wine Trophy, from 3rd to 7th March 2014. An experienced panel of French judges, committed to upholding the highest standards in this unique celebration of South African wine, sought to recognize, reward and promote elegance, balance, finesse, ageability and sense of place achieved by vignerons in South Africa.

The panel, under the auspices of Olivier POELS, editor and managing partner of La Revue du VIN de France, comprised: Olivier POUSSIER, the best sommelier in the world winner, wine consultant, writer and group sommelier of Lenôtre; Claude GILOIS, well-known French wine writer, consultant and wine blogger; Philippe DIETRICH, winemaker and director of Michael Petzold Wine Services; Christophe DURAND, Taj Classic Wine Trophy organizer and proprietor of DORRANCE Wines; Jean-Yves MULLER, co-owner of Sotano and Petit Caveau restaurants; Germain LEHODEY, sommelier of Mosaic restaurant.

Judges in panels of three, over three rounds, blind tasted all entrants in 23 categories to select a shortlist, which was re-tasted blind by all judges in the Grand Finale. On 7th March 2014 in the St Georges Room of the lovely Taj Hotel Cape Town 19 of those wines were awarded a coveted Bacchus Trophy by Master of Ceremonies, Neil Pendock. Bacchus Trophy winners will be listed in La Revue du VIN de France 2014 and promoted at Salon de La Revue du VIN de France in Paris in May 2014.

The list of winners is as follows:

Bubbly and White Wines

Villiera Monro Brut 2008
De Morgenzon Reserve Chenin  Blanc 2013
Hamilton Chardonnay 2012
Hamilton Chardonnay 2013
Whalehaven Chardonnay 2012
Groot Constantia Chardonnay 2013
Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve 2012

RED WINE AND DESSERT WINE

Creation Pinot Noir 2012
Whalehaven Merlot 2011
Glen Carlou Grand Classique 2011
Bellingham The Bernard Series Small Barrel SMV 2012
Creation Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot 2010
La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Viognier 2011
Groot Constantia Gouverneur Reserve 2011
Morgenster 2010
Morgenster 2003
Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2012
The High Road Classique 2010
Rudera Noble Late Harvest 2010

The prize for the Most Iconic Entry for 2014 was shared between Morgenster and Hamilton Russell Vineyards who shared a pair of new barriques sponsored by distinguished coopers Tonnellerie Claude Gillet and Tonnellerie Darnajou.

Before the results were revealed, a panel of South African judges selected six wines from the Bacchus Trophy winners that presented the best overall value for readers of GQ South Africa and patrons of the Taj Hotel Cape Town. The awarded wines will be showcased in GQ South Africa and served in the Taj Hotel Cape Town over the month of July 2014. The Taj/GQ Wine selection was decided by a panel convened by Jonathan Steyn and consisting of: Christian EEDES – Editor and owner of whatidranklastnight.co.za and prominent wine judge; Craig TYSON – Editor GQ magazine South Africa; Michael POWNELL – Group General Manager of Taj Cape Town; Tatiana MARCETTEAU – Sommelier at TAJ Cape Town;

Whalehaven Chardonnay 2012
Groot Constantia Chardonnay  2013
Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve 2012
Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2012
Glen Carlou Grand Classique 2011
Whalehaven Merlot 2011

The Classic Wine Trophy Team wishes to congratulate all the winners and look forward to another successful event in 2015. We also wish to thank all our partners and sponsors, without whom this would not have been possible. Get all the details on the 2014 competition at www.classicwinetrophy.co.za

http://michaelolivier.co.za/archives/17295


The 16th Annual Taj Classic Wine Trophy Show

The splendid Taj Hotel Cape Town, in association with La Revue du VIN de France, Tonnellerie Claude Gillet,  DORRANCE Wines, GQ South Africa and Tonnellerie Darnajou will host the 16th edition of the TAJ Classic Wine Trophy, from 3rd to 7th March 2014. An experienced panel of French judges, committed to upholding the highest standards in this unique celebration of South African wine, will seek to recognize, reward and promote elegance, balance, finesse, ageability and sense of place achieved by vignerons in South Africa.

The panel, under the auspices of Olivier POELS, editor and managing partner of La Revue du VIN de France, will comprise: Olivier POUSSIER, best sommelier in the world winner, wine consultant, writer and group sommelier of Lenôtre; Claude GILOIS, well-known French wine writer, consultant and wine blogger; Philippe DIETRICH, winemaker and director of Michael Petzold Wine Services; Christophe DURAND, Taj Classic Wine Trophy organizer and proprietor of DORRANCE Wines; Miguel CHAN, group sommelier of Tsogo Sun Hotels; Jean-Yves MULLER, co-owner of Sotano and Petit Caveau restaurants; Germain LEHODEY, sommelier of Mosaic restaurant.

Judges in panels of three, over three rounds, will blind-taste entrants in 23 categories to select a shortlist, which will be re-tasted blind by all judges in the Grand Finale. Only 20 of those wines will be awarded a coveted Bacchus Trophy. Bacchus Trophy winners will be listed in La Revue du VIN de France 2014 and promoted at Salon de La Revue du VIN de France in Paris in May 2014. The prize for the Most Iconic Entry for 2014 is a pair of new barriques sponsored by distinguished coopers Tonnellerie Claude Gillet and Tonnellerie Darnajou.

Before the results are revealed, a panel of South African judges will select 6 wines from the Bacchus Trophy winners that present the best overall value for readers of GQ South Africa and patrons of the Taj Hotel Cape Town. The awarded wines will be showcased in GQ South Africa and served in the Taj Hotel Cape Town over the month of June 2014.

Entries for this prestigious competition opened on Monday 20th January 2014 and will close on Friday 28th February 2014. Judging takes place from 3rd to 6th of March 2014. Trophy winners, judges, media and distinguished guests will be invited to an exclusive dinner and awards ceremony held on Friday, 7th March 2014 in the luxurious St George’s Room of The Taj Hotel Cape Town.

Entries must be submitted by Friday 28th February 2014. Information and entry forms are available at www.classicwinetrophy.co.za and enquiries can be directed to Sabrina on info@classicwinetrophy.co.za or (021) 683 7479 (office) or 083 415 7211 (cell).

winetimes.co


2013


French Classic Trophy and the Prime Palates

Submitting one’s wines to a panel of French judges is pretty much like a guy asking a Swedish Women’s Beach Volleyball team to judge his sexual prowess. They’ve seen it all, tasted it all and are the owners of copious amounts of experience. To make an impression, you’ve really got to know your Syrah from your Sutra.

The annual Classic Wine Trophy, not to be confused with the Old Trophy Show, has been around for 15 years now and invites South African producers to offer their elixirs for scrutiny by a bunch of real French wine experts. The odd one out is my mate Pieter de Villiers, the strapping lad from Darling who studied at Elsenburg before leaving for French shores in 1995 to play international rugby. Still a boer at heart, Pieter is about as French as a confit de canard, French enough to order a Pastis from a barman in Nice without getting hit on.

The other judges were journalists, sommeliers, winemakers, consultants and organisers, all blue-blooded French, a nation that take matters of the palate very seriously.

What other people on God’s earth will argue for 45 minutes on the correct texture of a baguette crust served with breakfast? I once had an hour-long earful from French barrel emperor Christian Radoux because during a tasting of Portuguese wines I dared venture an opinion on an alvarinho that to my mind bore a resemblance to a Sauvignon Blanc.

During presentations of South African wines to French audiences I have had to endure their quaint descriptions – “piss” and “Orangina” being choice niceties.

Oh, but we do love them. Their seriousness, their fine palates and their self-appointed status as the world’s God Chosen purveyors of opinions on matters food and wine.

That’s why presenting your wines to a panel of French requires balls the size of boules.

For this year’s Taj Classic Wine Trophy, some 300 South African wines were entered for tasting in the rarified air of the tasting-room presided over the French experts.

And those wines who received the blessing in the form of Trophies were:

Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve 2010.
Groot Constantia Shiraz 2010
Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve 2011
Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve 2011
Chamonix Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2010
La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Viognier 2010
Saronsberg Full Circle 2010
Saronsberg Viognier 2011
Vergelegen V Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Whalehaven Merlot 2010
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2011
Franschhoek Cellars Semillon 2012
Delaire Graff Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2009
Perdeberg Weisser Riesling Reserve 2011 Natural Sweet

As a lover of my fellow man and all things French, I would say that this is a pretty fine selection, although one does not know which other wines were entered. It is always much more fun crapping on the judges for omitting to recognize a wine you think is stellar than questioning their decisions.

From a panel positioning itself as French and Classic, I welcome the laurels awarded to certain modern, un-Old World wines. The Saronsberg Full Circle red Rhône blend is about as classic as Lady Gaga and as Old World as a hot dog stand on Coney Island. Ditto Whalehaven’s Merlot. Both wines display a sumptuous southern sunniness and slick, juicy fruit which deserve international recognition, so it is great seeing them pass the test of Les Bleus.

The Hamilton Russell Chardonnay is always going to crack it at this competition with its austere backbone bearing saddle-bags of perfume and fruit, and the whole Chamonix collection is just plain pants-wettingly good. But the Beyerskloof Pinotage was a surprise, methinks Pinotage being a bit too aggressive for ze fine palates.

The most French of all the wines, though, would have to be the Vergelegen V. As politely restrained as its unshowy and humble maker André van Rensburg, this wine is more Medoc than a duck heart stewed in a Cabernet broth. The wine is dry and tight as a convent cheer-leader team, but has immense power in the attack, mouth-feel and finish.

In fact, I would dare to say that the wine was selected for its aging potential more than current drinkability.

Toujours Classic Wine, toujours. This is a very special competition and may it continue from strength to strength.


The Taj Wine Classic Award winners

Blog by Deni Archer

The annual TAJ Classic Wine Trophy awards ceremony was held on the 8th of March 2013 at the Taj Hotel. The awards celebrate the top SA wineries as adjudicated by a panel of respected French judges. Many of the winning wines are terroir wines - which means there is a strong correlation between their taste and the geology of the area they are grown. Wine expert Neil Pendock predicted that terroir wine will be South Africa’s saving grace in defending against “the scourge of bulk wine”.

The winning wine farms also include many boutique wine farms, where grapes are handpicked and wine is craft-cultivated. Here are the 14 winners:

Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve 2010
Groot Constantia Shiraz 2010
Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve 2011
Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve 2011
Chamonix Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2010
La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Viognier 2010
Saronsberg Viognier 2011
Saronsberg Full Circle 2010
Vergelen V Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Whalehaven Merlot 2010
Hamilton Russel Chardonnay 2011
Franschhoek Cellars Semillon 2012
Delaire Graff Estate Cabernet Sauvignon reserve 2009
Perdeberg Weisser Riesling Reserve 2011 Natural Sweet
Six of the 14 winners were also chosen to be served in the Taj restaurant and to be featured in GQ magazine. They Are:
Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve 2011
Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve 2011
Chamonix Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2010
Hamilton Russel Chardonnay 2011
Delaire Graff Estate Cabernet Sauvignon reserve 2009
Perdeberg Weisser Riesling Reserve 2011 Natural Sweet


Pendock Uncorked
South Africa's leading independent drinks commentator…


Terroir @ The Taj
Posted: March 9th, 2013 | By Neil Pendock

The Taj Classic Wine Trophy competition played out last night over rare lamb racks that went down in the record books as the best awards dinner main, ever. Anel and Samarie (below) clearly agreed. The starter of Franschhoek salmon trout was not too shabby either and the wines matched both courses exceptionally well as of the 14 wines awarded, no fewer than 13 were identified with a geographic appellation.

The evening’s big winner was Gottfried Mocke from Chamonix. His Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and wooded Sauvignon Blanc wowed both international judges plus local pundits from GQ magazine and he will be filling three of the six places in the magazine’s selection, which will be also destined for the Taj wine list, now elegantly sommeliered by Tatiana Marcetteau, one of the judges.

There were two big surprises: a 2012 DGB Sémillon from Franschhoek Vineyards (a Franschhoek WO) and a late harvest Riesling 2011 in an etiolated Alsatian bottle from Perdeberg Winery (Paarl WO). There was a battle royalefor favourite white between the Chamonix and Hamilton Russell Chardonnays, both 2011 while André van Rensburg, the “V” in Vergelegen, holds his top two Cabernets (below) in a loving embrace.

Olivier Poels, editor of La Revue du VIN de France (which now boasts a Chinese edition), agreed that terroir is the way forward for SA wine and he will be showcasing the wines in Paris at the end of May. Not a bad result for SA and full marks to show chairman Christophe Durand for putting on such an efficient and humble competition which turns a Gallic spotlight on SA wine.


Classic glitz at the TAJ
by JEANRI-TINE posted on MARCH 13, 2013
Glitzy wine folk were out in full force on Friday evening to attend the prestigious TAJ Classic Wine Trophy awards.

The results in this annual wine competition are determined by a panel of French judges who adjudicate our local produce in order to recognize, reward and promote the elegance, balance, finesse and ageability in South African wines.

Although there is no disputing the elegant and refined structure of the top wines, some were judged to be more equal than others. Among the favourites were: Delaire Graff Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2009, Chamonix Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2010, Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2011 and the Perdeberg Weisser Riesling Reserve 2011 Natural Sweet.

There were 14 Trophies awarded this year:

Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve 2010.
Groot Constantia Shiraz 2010
Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve 2011
Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve 2011
Chamonix Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2010
La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Viognier 2010
Saronsberg Full Circle 2010
Saronsberg Viognier 2011
Vergelegen V Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Whalehaven Merlot 2010
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2011
Franschhoek Cellars Semillon 2012
Delaire Graff Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2009
Perdeberg Weisser Riesling Reserve 2011 Natural Sweet
The Overall Classic Wine Trophy Winner, given to the most iconic entry for 2013, was awarded Chamonix Winery in Franschhoek.

In addition to the 14 Trophies the TAJ/GQ Wine Selection – in my opinion awarding the sexiest of the bunch – was also revealed.

The selection decided on was:

Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve 2011
Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve 2011
Chamonix Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2010
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2011
Delaire Graff Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2009
Perdeberg Weisser Riesling Reserve 2011 Natural Sweet
These wines will be included in the GQ wine selection for the July issue in addition, this selection will also be served in the Restaurants of the Taj Hotel Cape Town for the month of June 2013.


Saturday, 9 March 2013

Chamonix delights French palates at Classic Wine Trophy

THE RESULTS of the 2013 Classic Wine Trophy competition are hardly surprising in terms of the class winners. Particularly not when it comes to the overall victor, with Chamonix scooping three of the 14 trophies awarded in various categories at the Taj Hotel in Cape Town just a few months after being named Winery of the Year in the 2013 edition of Platter's South African Wine Guide.

TRIUMPHANT YET AGAIN!

If there were any curve-balls delivered by the panel of French judges, perhaps two of them came in the Semillon and Chenin Blanc classes: Semillon because the trophy winner comes from the humble Franschhoek Cellar where the wine will probably sell for under R100 on release (we can't wait to try some of what promises to be really good value!), and Chenin because the panel declined to rate any such wine on the tasting bench worthy of a trophy (which we find hard to believe, given the depth of this 'team' quality wise!)

In fact Chenin wasn't the only category in which the judges felt the quality didn't warrant awarding a trophy. But then again, there were fewer than 300 entries in the Classic Wine Trophy competition this year following the organisers' decision to dispense with gold and silver medals as awarded in previous years. For more information click here.

TROPHY WINNERS BY CATEGORY:

Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve 2010, Stellenbosch
Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve 2011, Franschhoek
Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve 2011, Franschhoek
Chamonix Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2010, Franschhoek
Delaire Graff Laurence Graff Reserve 2009 (Cab-based red blend), Stellenbosch
Franschhoek Cellar Semillon 2012
Groot Constantia Shiraz 2010
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2011, Hermanus
La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Viognier 2010, Franschhoek
Perdeberg Weisser Riesling Natural Sweet Reserve 2011, Paarl
Saronsberg Full Circle 2010 (Shiraz-based red blend), Tulbagh
Saronsberg Viognier 2011, Tulbagh
Vergelegen V 2008 (Cabernet Sauvignon), Somerset West
Whalehaven Merlot 2010, Hermanus

By Mike Froud, Top Wine SA


RELAX WITH DAX

CLASSIC WINE TROPHY AWARDS 2013


This is the 3rd year I’ve attended the Classic Wine Trophy awards dinner. I quite like these awards as they are fairly small and quite unique from many other competitions.

The uniqueness is for 2 reasons, firstly the judging is all done blind. The judges only know the style of wine, so that they can evaluate it for expression on the style. Otherwise they don’t know anything about what they are tasting (apart from the colour, obviously).

The second thing that makes the competition unique is the fact that all the judges are French! This must make it quite an expensive competition to judge as they have to fly the 11 judges out here to do the tasting. So the results reflect an international perspective which is unusual for local competitions.

Despite the international perspective, many of the winning wines have received accolades in other SA wine competitions. Which I guess is a good reflection on our judges generally in terms of judging to an international standard.

These judges are seriously French. I can vouch for that as I was seated next to 2 of them and their accents were so thick I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. But I gathered from them that they were very impressed with the wines and that they love Cape Town. Those two opinions earned them my respect.

Despite difficulties with communication we had no difficulty in sharing the wines around efficiently and communicating our appreciation of each one with appropriate gestures and facial expressions. Each table at the awards gets a bottle of each winning wine to try, so that’s 16 bottles of wine per table of 10 people. Having more award winning wine than I can drink is a problem I will never complain about.

The list of winners is below. My favourite was the Chamonix Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2010. Chamonix really cleaned up, winning 3 of the 16 awards, and deservedly so. In fact with La Motte and Franschhoek Cellars, Franschhoek had a strong showing with nearly a third of the awards.


 

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