31 July 2019

WoTM - Simonsig 2016

There weren't many opportunities to enjoy Pinotage in July as a large chunk of it was spent in Ukraine and Wales, but our hotel at the end of the month in Criccieth, Wales had a selection of Simonsig wines, and so after an aperitif of Kaapse Vonkel 2013 MCC (lovely matured sparkling wine) we had my Wine of The Month Simonsig Pinotage 2016.

I'd always thought Simonsig's white label Pinotage was unwooded, but the fact sheet for this vintage of the wine says that  36% of the wine was matured on French oak staves.

It was delightfully fresh, offering bold fruit flavours with  gentle tannins on the finish to make another glass a necessity.

26 July 2019

2019 Pinotage Top 10 Finalists

Absa Top 20 Finalists:

Anura Reserve 2016
WO Simonsberg-Paarl (Anura), winemaker Stander Maass

Badsberg  2018
WO Breedekloof (Badsberg Wynkelder), winemaker Henri Swiegers

Beyerskloof Winemaker’s Reserve 2017
WO Stellenbosch (Beyerskloof Wyne), 
winemaker Anri Truter

Lutzville Francois le Vaillant 2016
WO Lutzville Valley (Cape Diamond Wines), winemaker Christoff de Wet

Diemersdal Reserve 2018
WO Durbanville (Diemersdal Landgoed), winemaker Thys Louw

Diemersdal MM Louw 2017
WO Durbanville (Diemersdal Landgoed), winemaker Thys Louw

Fleur de Cap Series Privee  2016
WO Coastal Region (Distell – Fleur du Cap Wines), winemaker Pieter Badenhorst

Kanonkop Estate 2015
WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch (Kanonkop Wine Estate), winemaker Abrie Beeslaar

Kanonkop Estate 2017
WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch (Kanonkop Wine Estate), winemaker Abrie Beeslaar

KWV The Mentors 2017
WO Coastal origin (KWV), winemaker Izéle van Blerk

Môreson Widow Maker 2016
WO Stellenbosch (Moreson), winemaker Clayton Reabow

Overhex Survivor 2017
WO Swartland (Overhex Wines International), winemaker Ben Snyman

Simonsig Redhill  2017
WO Stellenbosch (Simonsig Landgoed), winemaker Debbie Thompson

Simonsig Redhill  2016
WO Stellenbosch (Simonsig Landgoed), winemaker Debbie Thompson

Viljoensdrift River Grandeur Single Vineyard  2017
WO Robertson (Viljoensdrift Associated Wineries cc), winemaker Fred Viljoen

Vondeling Bowwood 2016
WO Voor Paardeberg (Vondeling Wines), winemaker Matthew Copeland

Wildekrans  Barrel Select Reserve 2016
WO Botrivier (Wildekrans Wine Estate), winemaker Braam Gericke

Wildekrans  Barrel Select Reserve 2015
WO Botrivier (Wildekrans Wine Estate), winemaker Braam Gericke

Windmeul The Legend Collection 2017
WO Coastal origin (Windmeul Kelder), winemaker Abraham van Heerden

Windmeul Reserve 2016
WO Paarl (Windmeul Kelder), winemaker Abraham van Heerden

Pinotage Icon / Museum Class Finalists

Fairview Primo Pinotage 2007
WO Coastal origin (Fairview), winemaker Anthony de Jager

Hill & Dale Pinotage 2007
WO Stellenbosch (Hill & Dale), winemaker Guy Webber

Rijk’s Private Cellar Pinotage 2009
WO Tulbagh (Rijk’s Cellars), winemaker Pierre Wahl

In this, the 23rd year of the Pinotage Top 10 Competition, 116 entries were received. In the first round of judging the top 20 wines are selected as finalists, and the winning top 10 chosen from these will be announced on 14 August 2019.
Five wineries each have 2 wines in the 20: Diemersdal, Kanonkop, Simonsig,  Wildekrans and Windmeul.

The judging panel comprised Winnie Bowman (Cape Wine Master) chairing the judging.  Greg Sherwood MW (London based Wine Master), Razvan Macici (award winning winemaker), Nomonde Kubheka (winemaker connected to Pinotage Youth Development Academy), Frans Smit (Spier cellarmaster) and Solly Monyamane (protégé). 
Association chairman Beyers Truter says, “The Pinotage Association finds the exceptional quality of the wines produced by members hugely rewarding, and even more so the very representative list of finalists from most of the major South African wine regions. Several industry veterans, including me, are really proud of how Pinotage has grown in stature – a decade ago nobody would have believed that consumer demand would ever allow for some of the iconic Pinotage wines to eventually sell for as much as R1000 per bottle or even more!”

Tina Playne, Absa’s Head of Sectors and Segments Relationship Banking,  wishes the finalists well and confirms how proud Absa is of its association with the event for the past 23 years. She added that it is a great privilege to have walked such a long path with a classic slice of South African wine heritage that is Pinotage"