The top 20 finalists in the Absa Top 10 Pinotage Competition mainly come
from the Swartland, Stellenbosch and Durbanville regions with each
producer having three of the wines in the final 20.
Pinotages from Swartland Winery, Riebeek Cellars and Painted Wolf Wines are made from Swartland fruit, while the wines from Altydgedacht Estate, Diemersdal Estate and Durbanville Hills Winery establish the Durbanville region’s Pinotage credentials.
The Pinotage capital of Stellenbosch also sees three producers in the top 20: Simonsig, Delheim and Spier.
From the producers’ side, Painted Wolf and Rijk’s both have two wines on the list – Guillermo Pinotage 2009 and The Den Pinotage 2010 in the case of Painted Wolf, while Rijk’s from Tulbagh sees its Private Cellar Pinotage 2008 and Reserve Pinotage 2008 in the final 20.
The Top 10 wines for the Absa Top 10 Pinotage Competition will be announced on 31 August from the 20 wines on the preliminary list.
Beyers Truter, Chairman of the SA Pinotage Association which organises this annual showcase along with the competition sponsors - Absa, says the list of 20 Top 10 candidates shows an exciting blend of regions, with established producers sharing top 20 spots with relative newcomers.
“Rijk’s and Simonsig are no strangers to the Absa Top 10, while a new producer such as Painted Wolf has literally cropped up from nowhere with two wines on the list,” says Truter.
“Together with this mix of new and established, it is fantastic to see quality Pinotages originating from nearly all of South Africa’s diverse regions – from Stellenbosch and Paarl, to Walker Bay, Darling and the Swartland.
For Pinotage to produce quality wines from such a diverse spectrum of terroirs not only underscores the versatility of the grape, but the commitment the various producers are showing to having their region’s climates and terrains expressed through Pinotage and fine winemaking.”
Judges at this year’s Absa Top 10 Pinotage Competition agreed on the general elegance of the wines, as well as to a discernible variation in styles as well as general improvement in overall quality.
Duimpie Bayly, convenor of the judging panel said: “Before judging commenced I made it clear to the panel that we were not going to limit ourselves by looking for any particular style of Pinotage,” he says. “The goal was to look for red wines that could be described as great in any language due to their elegance, balance and pure presence. During the judging process, consensus was reached that the makers of Pinotage are reaching levels never attained before and the final 20 wines show that this grape variety can take its place alongside the great reds of any country, anywhere in the world.”
The complete list of the 20 finalists:
Altydgedacht Pinotage 2011 (Durbanville)
Beaumont Pinotage 2010 (Bot River)
Delheim Pinotage 2011 (Stellenbosch)
Diemersdal Pinotage 2011 (Durbanville)
Durbanville Hills Rhinofields Pinotage 2011 (Durbanville)
Fairview Pinotage 2011 (Costal Region)
KWV Cathedral Cellar Pinotage 2009 (Western Cape)
Mount Vernon Three Peaks Pinotage 2011 (Paarl Simonsberg)
Painted Wolf Guillermo Pinotage 2009 (Swartland)
Painted Wolf The Den Pinotage 2010 (Coastal Region)
Riebeek Cellars Reserve Pinotage 2011 (Swartland)
Rijk’s Private Cellar Pinotage 2008 (Tulbagh)
Rijk’s Reserve Pinotage 2008 (Tulbagh)
Simonsig Red Hill Pinotage 2010 (Stellenbosch)
Spier 21 Gables Pinotage 2010 (Stellenbosch)
Springfontein Jonathan’s Ridge Pinotage 2009 (Walker Bay)
Swartland Winery Bush Vine Pinotage 2010 (Swartland)
Tukulu Pinotage 2009 (Darling)
Wellington Wines La Cave Pinotage 2010 (Wellington)
Windmeul Reserve Pinotage 2011 (Paarl)