Nederburg cellar master, Razvan Macici, crowned the 2012 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year earlier this month (November 3), says winning the coveted title marks one of the most significant achievements in his career.
This year was the first time he entered the competition, which annually identifies a particular varietal or wine style as its single category for entry. The only competition of its kind, it is now in its 32nd year. Dessert wines have never been featured as a category before.
His triumph sees the Diners Club title return to Nederburg for the third time after an interval of nearly 30 years. It was previously won by Gunter Brozel in 1983 for Rhine Riesling and in 1985 for his Gewurztraminer.
This year, the top-scoring wine was Nederburg's Private Bin Eminence 2007, a wine made exclusively for sale on the Nederburg Auction. Macici also received top honours for two other wines, the 2010 and 2011 vintages of the Winemaster's Reserve Noble Late Harvest. Both wines are also rated five stars in the Platter's South African Wine Guide.
Last year the 2009 vintage of Eminence was judged the wine of the show at the 2011 Five Nations Wine Challenge in Sydney in which wine producers from South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina and Chile competed. It also took the trophy for the top dessert wine as the highest-scoring wine in its class across the spectrum of Southern Hemisphere entrants. The 2008 vintage of this wine also won gold at the Sydney event. It had earlier earned 96 points to take the trophy for the best unfortified dessert wine at the 2011 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, and was one of the top ten wines in the 2011 Muscats du Monde in France.