The winners of the 10th Anniversary Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show were announced Wednesday, 1 June 2011, and in the most closely contested race since the inaugural event, Spier edged ahead of Thelema Mountain Vineyards to take the Fairbairn Capital Trophy for the Top Producer.
Winners of the Fairbairn Capital Trophy Wine Show Trophy for the Top Producer 2011: Jacques Erasmus and Johan Jordaan of Spier Wines flank Joy Khaole of Old Mutual.
While Thelema had exactly the same Trophy, Gold and Silver medal count as Spier in its five highest scoring wines, it had a lower medal-to-entry ratio over its total number of submissions. In the end this proved to be the tie-breaker for the narrowest margin in the show's history.
Spier's top results came from winning the Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Blend and a Gold medal for Shiraz, while Thelema secured the British Airways Comair Trophy for the Show's best Shiraz (which also won the Old Mutual Trophy for the Best Red Wine), and a Gold medal in the blended white wine class for its Roussanne Viognier.
For the first time, a Museum Class Riesling Trophy was awarded - the laureate being Hartenberg for its Weisser Riesling 1999.
A new award has been created this year - the Old Mutual International Judges' Trophy - for the wine which, in the opinion of the three international judges at this year's show, was the very best wine at the trophy judging. The inaugural winner was the Paul Cluver Chardonnay 2009.
A jetty of trophy winners at the One&Only Cape Town: Standing from left to right: Theo Basson (Ormonde Private Cellar), Pierre Wahl (Rijk’s Private Cellar); Andrea Freeborough (Die Bergkelder/Fleur du Cap); Andries Burger (Paul Cluver Wines), Kathy Jordan (Jordan Wines), Graeme Read (Hillcrest Estate), Jacques Erasmus (Spier), Morne Vrey (Delaire Graff Estate), Kobus Gerber (Lomond); Lizanne van der Spuy (Cape Point Vineyards), Carl Schultz (Hartenberg Estate); Rudi Schultz (Thelema Mountain Vineyards). In front: Chris Williams (Meerlust), Razvan Macici (Nederburg), Johan Jordaan (Spier), Johann Fourie (KWV) and Christo Pienaar (Nuy Winery).click to enlarge
The audited* results of 2011 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show:
- Fairbairn Capital Trophy for the Most Successful Producer: Spier Private Cellar
- Old Mutual Trophy for Best Red Wine: Thelema Shiraz 2007
- Old Mutual Trophy for Best White Wine: Paul Cluver Chardonnay 2009
- Old Mutual International Judges' Trophy: Paul Cluver Chardonnay 2009
- Old Mutual Trophy for Discovery of the Show: Nuy White Muskadel 2005
- Old Mutual Trophy for Best Dessert Wine: Nederburg Private Bin Eminence Noble Late Harvest Muscadel 2008
- British Airways Comair Trophy for the Best Shiraz: Thelema Shiraz 2007
- Grande Roche Trophy for Best White Blend: Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Special White Blend 2010
- Riedel Trophy for Best Bordeaux-style Blend: KWV The Mentors Orchestra 2009
- American Express Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon - Museum Class: Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 1995
- Just Riesling Trophy for Best Riesling: Jordan Riesling 2009
- Miele Trophy for Best Chardonnay: Paul Cluver Chardonnay 2009
- Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Blend: Spier Creative Block 2 2010
- Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc: Delaire Coastal Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc 2010
- Trophy for Best Pinot Noir: Meerlust Pinot Noir 2009
- Trophy for Best Merlot: Hillcrest Quarry 2008
- Trophy for Best Pinotage: Rijk's Pinotage 2007
- Trophy for Best Shiraz-based Red Blend: Ormonde Theodore Eksteen 2008
- Trophy for the Best Fortified Dessert Wine: Nuy White Muskadel 2005
- Trophy for Best Semillon - Museum Class: Cape Point Vineyards Semillon 2006
- Trophy for Best Riesling - Museum Class: Hartenberg Weisser Riesling 1999
- Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc - Museum Class: Lomond Sugarbush Sauvignon Blanc 2007
- Trophy for the Best Fortified Dessert Wine - Museum Class: KWV White Jerepigo 1933
Other Gold medal winners:
- Sutherland Viognier Roussanne 2009
- Buitenverwachting Husseys Vlei Sauvignon Blanc 2010
- Tokara Zondernaam Sauvignon Blanc 2010
- Spier Private Collection Shiraz 2008
- Lomond Syrah 2008
- Chamonix Reserve Chardonnay 2009
- Hillcrest Quarry 2009
The 2011 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show saw an increase in entries over the 2010 event, and a markedly higher number of Silver and Bronze medals awarded. The Gold medal count was down however, as judges have seemingly responded to the improvement in wine quality by raising the bar. Only 25 Gold medals were awarded (compared with 32 in 2010) and of these, five were from Museum Class entries (compared with seven in 2010). Most of the major classes were represented among the Golds, though the absence of a Chenin Blanc and a Port among these top awards was a disappointment.
Johan Jordaan and Jacques Erasmus, winning winemakers of Spier.
Judge chairman and co-convenor of the competition (together with Wine
magazine), Michael Fridjhon, was enthusiastic about the overall results: "We are seeing a strong improvement through all the ranks, with some very encouraging signs at the top of what used to be problematic classes. A pair of Merlot gold medals, ongoing strength from Pinotage and Riesling producers as well as the results we have come to expect from Shiraz, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and blended whites all suggest that the industry is addressing its past weaknesses and maintaining the gains of the past couple of years. There is some concern that we are not finding the same depth and resonance in Cabernet and Cabernet-blends, though the increase in the silver medal count is very encouraging."
For the full set of results including the Silver and Bronze medals, a transcript of the judges' feedback session and a variety of statistics, visit: www.trophywineshow.co.za
* Chartered accountants PKF monitored the judging procedures at the 2011 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show and audited the competition results. Throughout the judging the identity of the wines was withheld from all the tasters, including the Show Chairman. No one judge was in a position to impose a result upon a majority of the panelists and declarations of interest have been received from all the locally-based judges.