“Finally South Africa's iconic white wines are
getting the recognition they deserve and this Top 10 is
just a snapshot of the greatness that awaits wine drinkers,” says winemaker Ken
Forrester, chairman of the Chenin Blanc Association. “Behind these ten great wines are another ten
and behind them another ten, Chenin Blanc is an exciting journey and a grape
whose time has come.”
There were 126 wines entered for assessment by
a panel of experienced wine judges. The
wines were tasted blind and narrowed down over another two tastings to arrive
at the 10 best scoring wines.
The Top 10 wines are listed below, followed by the cellar
door price and an extract from the panel’s tasting report:
Bellingham The Old Orchard's 2013 (R95) – “Rich and ripe”;
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve
2013 (R141) – “Very stylish”;
KWV The Mentors 2012 (R160) – “Concentrated and pure”;
Perdeberg The Dry Land
Collection Barrel Fermented 2013 (R73) “A powerful but well balanced wine”;
Remhoogte Honeybunch Reserve
2013 (R150) – “A good line of
acidity ensures balance”;
Rijk’s Cellars Private Cellar
2009 (R130) – “A blockbuster”;
Simonsig Chenin Avec Chêne 2010 (R110) – “Really well executed”;
Spier Woolworths Private
Collection 2013 (Woolworths price: R109.95)
– “Totally seductive”;
Stellenrust 2014 (R44) – “Really flavourful”; and
Villiera Traditional Barrel
Fermented 2014 (R94.50) – “Shows real
finesse and balance”.
general consensus that Chenin Blanc is a ‘first division’ grape,” says judging
panel chairman, Christian Eedes. Pointing
out the disproportionately large number of old vines compared to other
varieties, he adds: “The potential is obvious.”
“Variations in soil, aspect and micro-climate
across often very short distances, coupled with increasingly confident and
imaginative winemaking, means that Chenin Blanc will always manifest a plethora
of styles, drinking well from bargain basement to top-end,” says Eedes.
Also on the panel were wine judging
authorities: London-based wine writer Jamie Goode; Cape Wine Master Alan
Mullins, head of the Woolworths (SA) Wine Department; Carrie Adams, partner at
Norman Goodfellows Fine Wine & Spirit Merchants; Higgo Jacobs, certified
with the Court of Master Sommeliers; and, associate judge Gregory Mutambe,
sommelier from the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa.
Willie du Plessis, Head of Business Banking
Western Cape at Standard Bank, congratulated the winners of the inaugural event. “Standard Bank is proud to be associated with
such a prestigious event that aims to celebrate and honour the finest Chenin
Blanc wines produced in our country. South
Africa is known for its top quality wines and has claimed a spot as one of the
biggest wine producers in the world. It
is up to the future generation of wine producers to work hard to uphold our
status and further steer South Africa to even greater heights, by innovating
and producing wines of the highest quality and standards.
“We have great talent in our country and it
need to be nurtured – the Standard Bank/Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge does
exactly that. We would like to
congratulate all the winners and encourage them to continue breaking new ground
and actively contribute to the economy and job creation.”
Standard Bank announced its support as
headline sponsor in a three-year agreement earlier this year. Winners will receive R20 000 each and the
money must be used to reinforce the economic and social benefits in the
workplace to the workforce.
Grant Thornton audited the competition.
information about Chenin Blanc visit www.chenin.co.za or send
e-mail to Ina Smith on firstname.lastname@example.org.