This year’s group of eight judges has a truly global footprint and exceptional professional experience, consisting of no less than six Masters of Wine (MW), the highest level of professional knowledge in the industry.
The panel will convene on 17 and 18 March to taste and select the 2016 Nederburg Auction selection from more than 500 wines submitted. They are Tim Atkin MW (GB), Cathy van Zyl MW (SA), Greg Sherwood MW (GB), Justin Knock MW (AUS), Richard Kershaw MW (SA), Roland Peens (SA), Kenichi Ohashi MW (Japan) and Andreas Larsson (SWE).
"The Nederburg Auction has been absolutely uncompromising in the rigour and standards upheld in the selection process for wines to go on auction in recent years,” says sommelier at large and Nederburg Auction consultant Higgo Jacobs.
“This shows in the distinction and reputation of the judges assembled for the tasting panel, who collectively offer influential expertise across different sectors of wine business. This not only safeguards the quality of auction items, but also provides a platform for a very influential view and assessment of South Africa's best rare wines."
“We feel extremely fortunate to be hosting such a compelling panel of wine experts to curate our wines this year,” says Nederburg Auction manager Dalene Steyn. “Ken and Andreas join the panel for the first time, and I have no doubt that adding their skills and backgrounds to the mix will facilitate extremely interesting discussions on the subject of quality, not to mention expanding international awareness for the Nederburg Auction.”
Steyn says the selection panel is expected to receive an exceptionally tight brief to select only the very best wines with intent to give buyers absolute confidence when paying a premium for the wines selected. “This stringent process has resulted in lower volumes featuring on the auction, but with lot sizes accordingly reduced to ensure that all bidders have an opportunity to acquire wines.”
Producers keen to submit wines for selection to the 2016 Nederburg Auction can do so here: http://enter.nederburgauction.co.za/Login-Winery.aspx. Submissions close this coming Friday, 12th February.
The annual Nederburg Auction offers an exclusive opportunity for local and international wine buyers to select, taste and bid on a stringently curated range of distinctive South African wines. www.nederburgauction.co.za | Twitter: @NedAuc | Facebook: nederburgauction | Instagram: nederburg_auction | YouTube: NedAuction
Meet the 2016 Nederburg Auction selection panel:
Tim Atkin MW
Tim Atkin MW is a UK wine journalist with an international following. He writes for Woman and Home, The World of Fine Wine, Gourmet Traveller Wine, Jamie Magazine, Fine Drink Magazine (China) and The Economist’s Intelligent Life and appears regularly as a wine expert on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen.
His website timatkin.com is widely read, quoted and re-Tweeted. He has a second career as a photographer whose photos have been published in The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and the World of Fine Wine and exhibited in London, Provence, Colombia, Poland and Lebanon. Tim writes an annual report on the South African wine scene, including his controversial South African Wine Classification.
Studying economics at the University of Stellenbosch meant that wine surrounded Roland. He gave in to its lures and as soon as he had finished his degree, he found his way into the industry.
Roland worked in wine marketing, retail, exports and as a sommelier before he found his way to Wine Cellar – one of South Africa’s foremost importers and retailers of fine wines. He is a partner in Wine Cellar and has been the director since 2005.
You will find Roland at most of South Africa’s top wine events, tasting, learning, and exploring the world of wine, forever expanding his palate. He has extensive insight into the wine world both local and foreign. Studying for a Master of Wine qualification for five years has helped, and perhaps one day we’ll see the big MW after his name. When he isn’t popping corks you’ll find Roland on one of the many trails of the beautiful Cape mountains, or kite boarding in the cold Atlantic waters.
Greg Sherwood MW
While Greg personally expresses no firm wine drinking preferences other than for "well-made wines", his knowledge and expertise in the field of South African wines in particular is considerable.
Born in Pretoria, and as the son of a career diplomat, Greg spent his first 21 years travelling the globe with his parents. All the related wining and dining, in the line of duty, is where he first realised his passion for fine wine.
Greg began his working career as a commodity trader. During this time, he rediscovered his passion for the wine trade and passed his Diploma wine degree at the Cape Wine Academy in Johannesburg in 2000.
A move back to Europe in mid-2000 to pursue a wine career in London, "the centre of the world fine wine trade", according to Greg, allowed him to work with and amongst some of the great wine personalities of the modern era. As Marketing Manager for fine wines from 2000 to 2006, and more recently Senior Wine Buyer for fine wines at Handford Wines in South Kensington, London, Greg, along with Handford Wines owner James Handford MW, has had the opportunity to daily buy, sell and taste some of the most finely crafted and sought-after wines in the world.
Cathy van Zyl MW
A B. Comm graduate from the University of Witwatersrand, Cathy's first 'real' job was writing press releases for banks, units trusts and auditing firms having been hired because her then-boss was adamant she'd "rather teach someone who understands finance to write than teach someone who knows how to write about finance".
Discovering she was good at the writing part, and enjoyed it, she then spent several years as a journalist and editor in the trade publication sector before starting her own small public relations consultancy in 1989.
Her wine journey began on a bicycle when she asked her husband to ride the country's famed Argus Cycle Tour with her; he agreed but the quid pro quo was that she attend a wine course with him. She has since notched up 21 Cycle Tours and gone on to become the first South African to successfully pass the Master of Wine examinations while living on the tip of Africa.
Cathy judges locally and internationally, is the chair of the Institute of Masters of Wine's education committee, occasionally contributes to wine journals and web sites around the world, but spends most of her wine-time as the associate editor of Platter's South African Wine Guide.
Andreas Larsson was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1972. He has a background as a chef, musician and later in life, caught the wine bug and devoted most of his time to study the virtues of the beautiful nectar. He made a successful career as a sommelier winning the best sommelier of Sweden in 2001, 2002, the Nordic Championship in 2002, Best Sommelier of Europe in 2004 and finally fulfilling his dream of becoming the Best Sommelier in the World in 2007 – a title only held by 14 people in the world.
After graduating from sommelier school he spent a great deal of time travelling the classic wine regions while working in fine restaurants and preparing for the competitions. “I didn´t have a single day off during seven years,” he says about this intense but rewarding time. Since 2006 he still keeps his position as the wine director of restaurant PM & Vänner in Sweden, boasting one of the great cellars of Europe with more than 3600 entries from around the globe. He´s also highly active as a consultant, speaker and teacher around the globe, being fluent in several languages and having the thirst for travel and discovering new places.
Richard Kershaw MW
Born and raised in Sheffield in the UK, Richard studied in London. Once qualified, he worked as a chef before moving to the wine trade. Richard acquired a basic winemaking diploma by correspondence and traveled as a cellar-hand to various countries – California, Chile, France, Germany, Hungary and finally South Africa in 1999.
Richard became assistant winemaker at Mulderbosch where he then took the opportunity as winemaker at Nelson Estate in Paarl for two seasons before becoming Cellarmaster at Kanu in 2003, and then as Group Winemaker of both Mulderbosch and Kanu in late 2009.
In 2011 he left to pursue his dream of making his own wine from his farm in Elgin, South Africa. In the same year Richard passed his International (British) Master of Wine and became the second resident South African Master of Wine.
Justin Knock MW
A career in science beckoned Justin after completing degrees in Industrial Chemistry and Food Science, but a tasting of 1996 Grosset Riesling and 1980 Grange with his polymers professor and an MW in Sydney in 1997 led Justin to winemaking instead.
Vintage at d'Arenberg in 1999 cemented his move but it was under the guidance of Philip Shaw at Rosemount where his knowledge blossomed. Over the next 5 years he worked vintages in the Hunter, France and Margaret River and ran winemaking trials and research for the Southcorp group of wineries.
From 2004 to 2007 Justin was the European-based winemaker for Southcorp/Foster's, drawing on his experiences to deliver technical, educational and public relations expertise and training across the UK, Middle East and Europe.
In 2008 he founded a boutique wine brand in the Yarra Valley, a joint venture he continues today, and made wine in Spain.
He can be found grinning broadly when travelling, watching the Wallabies wallop England, drinking white Burgundy or eating tapas.
Kenichi Ohashi MW
Kenichi Ohashi is a wine and sake expert based in Tokyo, Japan. Born in Tochigi Prefecture, he is the third generation owner of Yamajin Co., Ltd., a distributing company specialised in wine, sake and local spirits. He also has his own consultancy company, Red Bridge Co., Ltd. and is director of Somersault Co., Ltd., the biggest business group of liquor retailers in Japan.
A champion of global sake promotion, Ken is sake chairman of the International Wine Challenge. He is a Sake Expert Assessor, the highest qualification of National Research Institute of Brewing Japan, and holds the title of Master of Sake from Sake Service Institute.