27 October 2006

Pinotage Top 10 - 2006

How time flies. Last year I was one of the judges of the annual Pinotage Top 10 2005 competition.

This years judges were Guido Francque (food and wine connoisseur from Belgium and honorary member of the Pinotage Association), Janåke Johansson (Swedish wine consultant and trader), Charles Hopkins (cellar master and vice-chairman of the Pinotage Association), Neil Pendock (wine writer), Sue van Wyk (Cape Wine Master from Australia) and Dave Hughes (international wine judge/writer from South Africa).

The upward trend in the quality of Pinotage wines continues, and it is really exciting to see new names challenge the established wineries. This year, half of the Top 10 are first time winners (marked with an asterisk). The remaining five are repeat winners. Kanonkop Estates seventh win brings it level now with top winner L'Avenir Estate.

  • Allée Bleue Pinotage 2005
  • Boland Cellar Winemakers Selection Pinotage 2004*
  • Camberley Pinotage 2005*
  • Clos Malverne Pinotage Reserve 2003
  • Kanonkop Pinotage 2004
  • Morewag Pinotage 2002*
  • Pulpit Rock Pinotage 2004*
  • Stellenzicht Golden Triangle 2005
  • Tukulu Papkuilsfontein Pinotage 2004
  • Wellington Cellar Pinotage Reserve 2003*

I remember being impressed with Camberley's first ever vintage, 2001, which my friend Keith Prothero had found pressed on me.

The runners up contains, despite my constant efforts, a wines I have not come across yet (Dornier) and name that I have never even heard of (Fantail). I'll haveto hunt them out next February in the Cape.

Congratulations to all of them, and also the judges. It is difficult to decide a winner when there are so many good wines now being made.

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