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It's about what's in the mix: Finalists for Absa Perold Cape Blend awards

Since its inception in 2011, the Absa Perold Cape Blend awards have grown in stature, with winemakers treasuring the opportunity to present their take on South African combinations using Pinotage as the key component. On 4 October at the Overture Restaurant of Hidden Valley in Helderberg, Stellenbosch, the latest submissions of five winemakers will earn them one of the most coveted prizes in the SA wine industry.
Skitterphoto via
Skitterphoto via pixabay

The 10 finalists this year are from cellars in Wellington, Walker Bay, Swartland, Olifants River and Stellenbosch, as well as Paarl, where Windmeul Cellar continues its phenomenal year as the only producer nominated for an Absa Perold Cape Blend trophy who earlier triumphed at the 2017 Absa Top 10 Pinotage awards.

The top 10 are:

Bosman Family Vineyards Erfenis 2014

WO Wellington: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Merlot, Petit Verdot

Cape West Shiraz Pinotage Limited Release 2015

Namaqua Wines, WO Olifants River

Cape West Cabernet Sauvignon Pinotage Limited Release 2015

Namaqua Wines, WO Olifants River

Idiom Cape Blend 2013

WO Stellenbosch: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Merlot, Petit Verdot

Idiom Cape Blend 2015

WO Stellenbosch: Pinotage, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz

Lyngrove Platinum Latitude 2015

WO Stellenbosch: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Shiraz

Pulpit Rock Louisa Reserve 2014

WO Swartland: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Petit Verdot

Simonsig Frans Malan Cape Blend 2015

WO Stellenbosch: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot

Springfontein Limestone Rocks Whole Lotta Love Cape Red Blend 2015

WO Walker Bay: Pinotage, Shiraz, Petit Verdot

Windmeul Cape Blend Reserve 2015

WO Coastal: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot

The best expressions of Pinotage-oriented wine styles

The taste-off was introduced to showcase the best expressions of various Pinotage-oriented wine styles. It is great to see the constant introduction of new interpretations of the Cape Blend concept and how in sync winemakers are with their terroir and production techniques to increase the quality every year.

As Pinotage Association vice-chair De Wet Viljoen reiterates: “The aim is to promote bold, vibrant wines truly representative of South Africa, wines with a significant Pinotage component that possess the kind of complexity, balance and maturation potential that will stand out on the world stage.”

Crafting exceptional wines, setting benchmarks of excellence

Jacques Roux, the convener of the judging panel, indicated that is encouraging to see how winemakers use their best grapes to craft exceptional wines and in so doing set benchmarks of excellence that their estates are capable of. He says it is delightful to assess premium bottlings from winemakers with different approaches to their art.

According to John Tshabalala, Absa’s provincial managing executive in the Western Cape, Pinotage and the Cape Blend category of wines are truly unique jewels in the crown that is the South African wine industry. “This partnership reflects our long-standing commitment not only to the Pinotage Association but to the South African wine industry as a whole. Our corporate philosophy is strongly centred around ideas, innovation and creativity, and the Cape Blend winemakers reflect these values with their dynamic and passionate search for wines that have their own identity, are creatively put together and reflect the excellence of Brand South Africa, of which we as a bank are proud to be a part of,” says Tshabalala.

“Our continued involvement with this competition is inspired by our confidence in the new generation of South African winemakers who are working hard to increase the prestige and sophistication of wines produced in South Africa.”

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