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Best wines for 2010

The 2010 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show announced its winners yesterday, Monday 17 May 2010; awarding Eagles' Nest Shiraz 2008 as the Best Red Wine overall and Flagstone Word of Mouth 2008 as the Best White Wine overall, while Tokara celebrated the 10th anniversary of its first bottling by winning the Fairbairn Capital Trophy for the Most Successful Producer.
Best wines for 2010In a substantial leap from its fifth position overall in 2009, Tokara finished a considerable distance ahead of its nearest competitor by winning trophies for its Director's Reserve White 2008, Pinotage 2007 and museum class Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 as well as two silver awards. The result was a personal triumph for winemaker Miles Mossop and his colleague, viticulturist Aidan Morton, both of whom have been with Tokara since 2000. Chamonix secured second position in the top producer rankings, followed by Rijk's Private Cellar and KWV in third and fourth positions respectively.

Class trophies


The show also saw trophies awarded for the first time in several of the smaller classes, such as Viognier and Malbec. The Just Riesling Trophy - sponsored by the Cape's (Rhine) Riesling producers in an endeavour to raise the profile of true Riesling in a country where the authorities have, until recently, permitted the sale of Crouchen Blanc under the Riesling name - was won this year by Klein Constantia.

Harold Eedes Trophy


A new trophy for Chenin Blanc was presented under the name of the late Harold Eedes who, as publisher of Wine magazine (and co-founder of the show), played a key role in enhancing awareness of the variety's potential in South Africa. The Harold Eedes Trophy for Chenin Blanc was won by Rijk's, a previous gold medallist in the class. In addition, a Verdelho won a trophy in a newly created category designed to accommodate gold medal quality wines in classes too small and too unusual to justify a separate trophy category. The Best Niche White Variety Trophy was presented to Feiteiras Vineyards.

Museum class


A noteworthy feature of this year's show was the strong showing in museum classes, where seven of a total of 39 entries won gold medals, of which six were trophies. Museum class entries must be at least four years old - in the case of white wines - and at least eight years old in all other categories. This result suggests that Cape wines are capable of considerable improvement in the bottle and contradicts what has been conventional wisdom up to now.

This year's competition yielded 31 gold medals in total. The silver medal count of 89 was 19 higher than in 2009 and more than at any previous show except 2002. The bronze medal tally of 329 compares with 331 in 2009.

The trophies, which are awarded through a blind tasting judging process by a panel of reputed international and local judges, are considered to indicate some of the best available South African wines for consumers.

Trophy winners

  • British Airways Comair Trophy for Best Shiraz & Old Mutual Trophy for Best Red Wine Overall - Eagles' Nest Shiraz 2008
  • Best Viognier & Old Mutual Trophy for Best White Wine Overall - Flagstone Word of Mouth 2008
  • Fairbairn Capital Trophy for Most Successful Producer - Tokara
  • Old Mutual Trophy for Discovery of the Show (Best Value) - Pulpit Rock Reserve Chardonnay 2008
  • Best Dessert Wine - Museum Class - Nuy White Muscadel 1988
  • Miele Trophy for Best Chardonnay - Wooded - Paul Cluver Chardonnay 2009
  • Best Chardonnay - Museum Class, Wooded - Chamonix Reserve Chardonnay 2005
  • Grande Roche Trophy for Best White Blend - Wooded - Tokara Director's Reserve White 2008
  • Best White Blend - Museum Class, Wooded - Cape Point Isliedh 2006
  • Just Riesling Trophy for Best Riesling - Klein Constantia Rhine Riesling 2009
  • Best Semillon - KWV The Mentors Semillon 2009
  • Best Semillon - Museum Class - Cape Point Semillon 2005
  • Merlot Reserve 2007 - Neil Ellis Woolworths Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Stark -Condé Stellenbosch Cabernet - Riedel Trophy for Best Bordeaux-style Red Blend
  • American Express Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon - Sauvignon 2007
  • Best Cabernet Sauvignon - Museum Class - Tokara Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
  • Best Pinotage - Tokara Pinotage 2007
  • Best Sauvignon Blanc - Unwooded - Cederberg Sauvignon Blanc 2009
  • Best Sauvignon Blanc - Museum Class, Unwooded - Cape Point Sauvignon Blanc 2006
  • Harold Eedes Trophy for Best Chenin Blanc - Rijk's Chenin Blanc With a Touch of Oak 2009
  • Best Sparkling Wine - Anura Brut 2008
  • Best Pinot Noir - Chamonix Reserve Pinot Noir 2008
  • Best Niche White Variety - Feiteiras Verdelho 2009
  • Best Malbec - Vrede en Lust Mocholate Malbec 2009
  • Best Pinotage-based Red Blend - Kaapzicht Steytler Vision 2006

Other Golds

  • Cape Point Isliedh 2005
  • Dunstone Shiraz 2008
  • Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Chardonnay 2009
  • Land of Hope Chenin Blanc 2008
  • Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage 2007
  • Manley Pinotage 2005
  • Rijk's Reserve Chardonnay 2007
  • Stellenzicht Golden Triangle Pinotage 2007
Full results are available here.

Clear improvement


Co-convenor of the competition (together with Wine magazine) and Chairman of the Judges, Michael Fridjhon comments: "The clear signs of an overall quality improvement at the top of the wine market - which we have seen for some time and on which we commented last year - continue to dominate these results. There has been a good spread of medals across several classes, with a better showing among red wines than at any time over the past five years. The pleasing improvement in Pinotage - long regarded as one of the least consumer-friendly categories - suggests that producers have taken to heart some of the criticism previously voiced about fruit handling. The wealth of medals - especially among the younger vintages - in the Shiraz class shows that producers are now coming to terms with the variety, and getting the most out of the more established vineyards."

Tastings


Within the next two weeks, a series of tastings will be taken to six major centres countrywide including a Masterclass® in Windhoek in June. Wine lovers in Cape Town and Johannesburg will be able to taste 118 trophy, gold, silver and some museum class medal winning wines at public tastings. A free copy of ICONS, the official guide to the competition, will be available in the June issue of Wine magazine, on sale now.

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