Veritas newsmakers of the year announced
KWV again triumphed as best wine producer at Veritas this year with no less than four double gold and 13 gold medals followed by Nederburg with four double gold and nine gold medals, Boplaas Family Vineyards with four double gold and six gold medals and De Grendel with three double gold medals at last night’s (5 October) 2013 Veritas Awards ceremony. In the category for brandy Van Ryn’s took the lead with three double gold medals, followed by Boplaas, Oude Meester, Klipdrift Gold and Flight of the Fish Eagle with one double gold award each.
The organisers added a ‘Best Performer by Entry’ category for wines this year, with a category for less than 10 entries and another for more than 10 entries. All the medals received by entrants were considered and points given on a weighted scale. In the category with less than 10 wines enteredFlagstone took the honours as Best Performer and in the category with more than 10 wine entered, Nederburg was the Best Performer.
Wine lovers and wine makers annually eagerly await the results of South Africa’s most respected competition for market ready wines and brandies. Veritas annually honours the country’s best of the best with double gold, gold, silver and bronze medals – accolades which will soon appear on the winning bottles as the well-known and highly valued Veritas symbol of excellence.
This year 1 792 wines and brandies yearned for the prestigious double gold Veritas medal. Following five days of strict judging, 1 442 medals were awarded: 68 (3.7%) were honoured with double gold, while 166 (9.2%) won gold, 526 (29.3%) silver and 682 (38%) bronze.
Veritas also each year celebrates the contribution of wine legends who have dedicated their efforts and energy to the promotion of the wine industry. This year Jan Booysen, Henk Bruwer, Riaan Kruger, Wouter Pienaar and Matthee van Schalkwyk received the special Veritas scroll of honour.
THESE ARE 2013’S WINNING WINES
KWV’s double gold medal harvest was awarded for their The Mentors Orchestra Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc/Merlot/Petit Verdot/Malbec 2010, The Mentors Pinotage 2011 and the Laborie Blanc de Blancs MCC 2009, as well as Classic Collection Cape Tawny N/V. KWV continued to secure 13 gold medals.
Four double gold medals went to Nederburg’s Private Bin Eminence 2011, the Private Bin R163 Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, the Winemaker’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2011 and the Winemaker’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2012. Nine gold medals augmented their victorious run.
The following superb wines from Boplaas Family Vineyards won double gold: Cape Tawny Vintner’s Reserve N/V, Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2010, Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2009 and Cool Bay Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2013. In addition, six gold medals were earned for outstanding entries.
De Grendel scooped gold for their De Grendel Merlot 2010, De Grendel Shiraz 2011 and De Grendel Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc 2013.
2013’S BEST BRANDIES
Van Ryn’s triumphed with three double gold medals for their Collectors Reserve 20 year old brandy, the Fine Cask Reserve 15 year old brandy and the Distillers Reserve 12 year old brandy. Other top performing brandies included a Boplaas 15 year Reserve Brandy, Oude Meester Reserve 12 years Pot Still Brandy, a Klipdrift Gold Brandy and the Flight of the Fish Eagle Natural Brandy.
Sauvignon Blanc, Red Blends and Cabernet Sauvignon lead the double gold medal stakes with 8 awards each, followed by Chardonnay (6), Pinotage (5), Shiraz (5), Port (5), Chenin Blanc (4), Merlot (3), Noble Late Harvest (2), White blends (1), Colombar (1), Natural Sweet (1), Straw wine (1), MCC (1), Red Muscadel (1) and White Muscadel (1).
Merlot topped the list of gold medal winners with 16 awards, followed by Sauvignon Blanc (14), Red Blends (14), Chardonnay (13), Cabernet Sauvignon (12), Shiraz (12), Chenin Blanc (7), Noble Late Harvest (6), White Blends (5), MCC (5), Pinotage (5), Port (5), Natural Sweet (4), White Muscadel (4), Colombar (3), Red Muscadel (3), Sémillon (2), Cabernet Franc (2), Other Red Cultivars (2), Dessert Wine (2), Sherry (2), Other White Cultivars (1), Special Late Harvest (1), Straw wine (1), Viognier (1) and Malbec (1). In the Museum Class, gold medals were awarded to Dessert Wine (4), White Wine (4), Noble Late Harvest (2), Port (1) and Red wine (1).
Pot Still Brandy led in the quest for double gold medals in the brandy category with seven medals and won an additional seven gold medals. Four standard brandy entries won gold medals.
Full results are available online at www.veritas.co.za. The website also contains a search facility which was specially developed to indicate Veritas medal winners since the inception of the competition in 1991.
INTERNATIONAL JUDGES LEND WEIGHT TO JUDGING PROCESS
Each year international experts are invited to join the highly qualified local judging teams to take on the mammoth task of tasting and evaluating close to 1 800 wines and brandies. Signing on international wine personalities enhances the international interest in the competition and simultaneously entrants gain valuable feedback from the parts of the world to where their wines are being exported.
This year the international delegation consisted of Mimi Avery, the brand ambassador of Averys of Bristol (UK), Frank Smulders MW, consultant and educator from the Netherlands, German wine consultant Thomas Lüber, Johan Larsson, chief wine buyer for the Swedish wine retail monopoly, Systembolaget, and Denis Lahouratate, cellar master at the French House of Bisquit Cognac. Dave Hughes, local wine guru and respected international judge, joined them.
TASTE THE MEDALISTS
Make sure not to miss the opportunity to taste the double gold and gold winning wines during various public tastings, generously sponsored by Deloitte, taking place countrywide.
The Cape Town tasting will take place on Tuesday 15 October from 17:00 to 20:00 in the Ballroom of the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Tickets cost R140 per person. A tasting for those in the Johannesburg area is scheduled for Wednesday 23 October from 17:00 to 20:00 in the Bill Gallagher Room of the Sandton Convention Centre, Maude Street, Sandton – tickets cost R150.
Durbanites will have a chance to taste the best of the best on Thursday 7 November from 17:00 to 20:00 at the Function Room of the Deloittes Head Office in Pencarrow Crescent, La Lucia Ridge Estate, Umhlanga, at R110 a ticket. Attendees to these sessions will also be treated to light snacks and a tasting of the 2013 Qualité Cheeses.
Wine and brandy lovers in and around Port Elizabeth can experience the Veritas winners at a sit-down tasting event on Tuesday 12 November at 17:30 for 18:00 at the Squires Legendary Grill in the Boardwalk Centre in Beach Road – light snacks included. Tickets cost R110 per person. Tickets from Jacques van der Merwe on 083 406 3354. The well-known Kilzers Kitchen in Knysna presents two events: a food and wine pairing dinner on 13 November (19:00) at R250 per person, and a sit-down tasting with light snacks on 14 November at 18:00 at R125 per person. Book with Jenny on044 382 0135.
Book your tickets for the tastings in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban at Computicket, but contact the organisers of the Port Elizabeth and Knysna events directly for bookings for those events.
Top Caption: Margaux Nel (Boplaas), Johann Fourie (KWV), Elzette du Preez (De Grendel), Danie Morkel (Nederburg)