Celebrating a South African first and trophies galore

Our local favourites make us proud!

Popping corks at Le Lude as estate celebrates a South African first

Preeminent Franschhoek wine farm Le Lude has received the highest points to date for a South African Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) in London.

Judges at the world’s largest and most influential wine competition awarded Le Lude’s maiden vintage, the 2012 Vintage Cuvée, with 97 points – a platinum award, the highest accolade yet to be bestowed upon a South African MCC.

Now in its 16th year, the DWWA is trusted internationally for its rigorous judging process. This year 16 500 entries were received.

The wine, made with 83% chardonnay and 17% pinot noir grapes, were whole-bunch pressed with only the cuvée – highest quality free-run juice – used in the Vintage blend. It was matured on the lees for 56 months. Only 2 361 bottles were released, of which just 60 remain available at the Le Lude tasting room.

Now in its 16th year, the DWWA is trusted internationally for its rigorous judging process. This year 16 500 entries were received.

JC Le Roux Scintilla is one of the most elegant MCCs

JC Le Roux Scintilla is the flagship of South Africa’s oldest house dedicated to sparkling wine, and has become known for its style, depth of character and a Méthode Cap Classique crafted with great care.

In recognition as one of the country’s top producers, the JC Le Roux Scintilla Vintage Reserve 2014 has been awarded a trophy for Best Sparkling Wine at the 2019 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show recently.

Made from 70% chardonnay and 30% pinot noir grapes, hand-selected from two prime vineyard blocks, the wine is made according to the French tradition of secondary fermentation in the bottle and spends 36 months on the lees to create the elegant, signature bubbles.

Soft and luxurious on the palate, the beautiful freshness of citrus and buttered toast leads to delicate bubbles that coat the mouth. The MCC is made with longevity and ageing potential in mind and will age gracefully during additional bottle maturation.

Nederburg wins dessert wine trophy at 2019 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show

Nederburg, the Paarl winery that pioneered the making of noble late harvest wines in South Africa, has won the Old Mutual Trophy for Best Dessert Wine (Unfortified) at the 2019 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show. The trophy was earned for The Winemasters Noble Late Harvest 2018. 

Now in its 18th year, this Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show has an exceptional reputation for honouring wine excellence and is chaired by wine authority Michael Fridjhon. 

While Nederburg has over two centuries established an unassailable reputation for distinction across its range of red and white varietal and blended wines, there is one style, in particular, that is virtually synonymous with the famous winery. Say noble late harvest and the chances are most wine-loving South Africans will immediately think of Nederburg.

The 2018 vintage of this wine is made from a blend of chenin blanc (56%), muscat de Frontignan (39%), sauvignon blanc (3%) and grasă de Cotnari (2%). The fruit was sourced from trellised vineyards in Durbanville and Paarl and cooled by morning mists and afternoon winds.

Constantia Glen named top SA White Wine and Sauvignon Blanc at IWC

Constantia Glen has triumphed as South Africa’s best white wine overall and top sauvignon blanc, clinching two trophies at the 2019 International Wine Challenge (IWC) in London.

Applauding the Constantia Glen 2018 Sauvignon Blanc as top achiever overall with a score of 96/100, the judges described the wine as “breezy, stony but succulent” that showcases “a disciplined and deep core and intricate aromatics of flint and Cape gooseberry”.

Now in its 36th year, the IWC is widely held as the world's finest and most meticulously judged wine competition.

The 2018 vintage is a classic Constantia Sauvignon, exemplifying elegance, texture and freshness.

Fat Bastard Chardonnay scores tops in Best Value Chardonnay competition

The results of the inaugural Best Value Chardonnay Tasting convened by Winemag.co.za have been announced, with the Fat Bastard Chardonnay 2018 scoring top with 90 points.

With judges seeking to find the best examples of Chardonnay between the R60 and R100 price points, the wines were tasted blind by Winemag.co.za’s suitably qualified panel consisting of Joanne Gibson, Ndaba Dube and Jeanri-Tine van Zyl. Scoring was done according to the 100-point quality scale, with the top-scoring wines going through to a second round of blind tasting and discussion with Christian Eedes (Winemag.co.za editor and roving chair).

Christian Eedes commented on the Fat Bastard Chardonnay 2018: “On the nose, this wine seduces with ripe stone fruit, tropical melon too, and subtle hints of vanilla. There’s good mid-palate fruit intensity, showing some development, an off-dry impression enhanced by vanilla cream oak notes and a mere hint of burnt butter. Bold but well-rounded and balanced.”

Fat Bastard wines have been delicious and well-loved since they were created almost by accident by Thierry and Guy. When tasting an experimental batch of Chardonnay at the back of the cellar, that had been kept in barrel with yeast sediment longer than usual and had developed a very full-bodied taste, Guy exclaimed in delight among a bellyful of laughter, "Well, now that's a fat bastard," perfectly describing the wine’s wonderful colour and round, rich palate.