Mari Branders & Thys Louw from Diemersdal with the Genl Smuts trophy for the 2013 SA Champion Young
The judges of this year’s SA Young Wine Show voted the Diemersdal wooded Sauvignon Blanc as the worthy recipient of the General Smuts trophy for the best young wine of the show – the highest acclaim of this prestigious competition for wines from the current vintage.
It also received the trophy as the Champion Sauvignon Blanc. Six generations of Louw family winemakers have been creating fine wines at this Durbanville Valley estate since the 1800’s but this is the first time that they have won top honours in the SA Young Wine Show. The winning Sauvignon Blanc, a barrel fermented wine – has been made in the new state-of-the-art winery with an approach of minimum intervention in order to conserve its varietal character.
Bon Courage, who regularly makes an appearance on the SA Champion list of the Young Wine Show, this year won the Pietman Hugo trophy the highest marks for the best five wines entered. A threesome of SA Young Wine Champions is clear proof that they have King Midas' touch when it comes to the creation of wines for those with a sweet tooth. This year the father and son winemaker team, André and Jacques Bruwer, won the following SA Champions: SA Champion Dessert Wine for their Red Jerepigo, SA Champion Natural Sweet White Wine and the SA Champion Noble Late Harvest for their wooded Noble Late Harvest.
"The institution of a SA Young Wine Show bottle sticker for the General Smuts trophy wine announced at last year’s award ceremony brings the competition closer to the consumer,” says Charles Hopkins, chairman of the South African National Wine Show Association (SANWSA). This sticker can be applied once the award winning wine has been bottled. “The extra public recognition undoubtedly serves as an additional draw card for the some 135 wineries that entered the best of their season for this revered and oldest competition for young wines."
This year Sauvignon Blanc topped the 2,060 entries with 110 wines competing in this category. "It seems that the 2013 vintage has produced some great Sauvignon Blanc wines and it is quite fitting then that it has won the General Smuts trophy," says Hopkins. Previous Sauvignon Blanc winners of the General Smuts trophy include Roodezandt (2002), Cape Point (2000) and Vergelegen (1999).
This year no other cellar succeeded in winning more than one SA Champion. The trophy winners in the category for the red varietals were as follows: the Pinotage (wooded) of Namaqua Wines (Spruitdrift) won the SA Champion Pinotage trophy for the second consecutive year, Perdeberg Winery’s Pinotage/Mourvedre/Petit Verdot (wooded) was awarded the SA Champion Red Blend and Spier Wines won the SA Champion title for their Shiraz (wooded). The SA Champion Cabernet Sauvignon title went to Flagstone Winery for their Cabernet Sauvignon (wooded) and the SA Champion Merlot went to Botha Cellar's Merlot (wooded). Alto's Cabernet Franc (wooded) claimed the SA Champion Other Red Cultivar.
The SA Champion winners in the white wine grouping were KWV's Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon with the SA Champion White Blend trophy, Alvi's Drift Wines International won the SA Champion Chenin Blanc for their wooded Chenin Blanc, while David Nieuwoudt's Sémillon from the Ghost Corner range (Cederberg Private Cellar) wears the SA Champion Sémillon crown. Two cellars from the Rawsonville region were honoured with SA Champion trophies: Goudini Wine Cellar entered this year's SA Champion Chardonnay and Merwida Cellar's Novelle won the SA Champion Other White Cultivar.
The Boplaas Family Vineyards Vintage Port leads as this year's SA Champion Port, while the Allesverloren Red Muscadel Jerepigo won the SA Champion Muscadel title.
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