Sep 29 2008

Pinotage surprises at big German competition

Published by at 6:14 pm under Companies

South African winemakers put in a respectable showing against the “best of the rest” at the 8th MUNDUSVini International Wine Awards held in Germany from 29/8/2008 to 7/9/2008. Depending on how one looks at the results, one could even say South Africa and France were the star performers of the global wine competition.

A total of 5,343 wines from 41 countries were judged and 24 so-called “Great Gold medals” were awarded. Of these Germany won 15 (63%), which is somewhat suspect, since Germany is not known as one of the great wine countries of the world.

Rather than be peeved at the hosts, let’s just say** they enjoyed a “home game advantage” and look at the rest of the score board. This is where it gets interesting. The remaining nine “Great Golds” were awarded as follows: France and South Africa got three each; Italy got two and Austria got one. The rest got nothing. And remember 41 countries entered the competition. I listed the 35 “Gold” winners below. For a full list contact the organisers here.

But, who won the three “Great Golds” for SA? Two went to Stellenbosch and one to Robertson. I suspect one was a red blend, one was (definitely) a Shiraz and one a Pinotage.

The “suspect” was a wine called Vilafonte 2005 Series M Paarl of Warwick Estate, the Shiraz was the Ridge Syrah 2002 of Graham Beck Wines and the Pinotage was the Lyngrove Estate Platinum Pinotage 2004.

The Vilafonte doesn’t feature on the Warwick Estate website, or in the Platter Guide. So, I must admit, I don’t know what to make of this wine. Maybe, it’s an export-only product.

All in all 83 medals were awarded to South African wines. The best performers among the cultivars were Pinotage and Shiraz, the former winning nine medals on its own, so to speak, and three in blends, while Shiraz won ten on its own and two in blends. A Pinotage/Shiraz blend even won a special prize as “The best dry red wine submitted from outside Germany in the below €4 price bracket”.

That was probably the main message South Africa took away from this prestigious wine competition, namely that Pinotage is better than its call. Maybe it has become the “in thing” to bash Pinotage? The results of the 8th MUNDUSVini suggest it’s time (for wine fundis and wine magazines) to rethink.

Here a full list of the 35 “Gold” winners:

* Boland Cellar Winemaker’s Selection Merlot 2006; Boland Cellar Reserve No. 1 Cabernet Sauvignon (vintage?); Dornier Donatus White 2007; Bellingham The Maverick Syrah 2005; Bellingham Fair Maiden 2007; Eikendal Cabernet Saivignon 2005; PK Morkel Pinotage 2004; Middelpos Pinotage 2001; Grand Classique 2005 of Glen Carlou; Glen Carlou Syrah 2005; Glen Carlou Gravel Quarry 2006; Grand Provence 2004 (cultivar?); Grand Provence Chardonnay 2006; Kevin Arnold 2003 Shiraz; Warwick Trilogy 2005; Filafonte Series M Paarl 2003 of Warwick Estate; Vilafonte 2005 Series C Paarl of Warwick Estate; Kleine Zalze Cellar Selection Shiraz/Mourvedre/Viognier 2006; Finlayson Edgebaston Shiraz 2004; La Motte Chardonnay 2007; La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon 2005; La Motte Pierneef Shiraz/Viognier 2006; Bellingham Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2005; Middelvlei Momberg (vintage and cultivar not known); Jean Taillefert (?); Glen Carlou Syrah 2005; Roland’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006; Spier Vintage Selection Shiraz/Mourvedre/Viognier 2005; Spier Private Collection Chenin Blanc 2006; Spier Vintage Selection Malbec/Cabernet Franc/Petit Verdot 2005; Spier Private Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2005; Lammershoek Roulette 2005; Stellenzicht Syrah 2002; Morgenster Lourens River Valley 2004; Morgenster Cape of Good Hope 2004.


** Germany entered 26% of all the wines and won 27% of all the medals. So, maybe one should not be too hard on the hosts!

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Pinotage surprises at big German competition”

  1. Peter Mayon 30 Sep 2008 at 8:24 am

    Vilafonte is not part of Warwick, it is a separate venture co-owned by Mike Ratcliffe (of Warwick), Phil Freese & Zelma Long from the USA. Look in Platter under Vilafonte, or at http://www.vilafonte.com . ‘M’ is a Merlot dominated blend with Cab & Malbec

    Good news about the Pinotage

  2. adminon 30 Sep 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Thanks, Peter! I also found this about the wines on Jamie Goode’s blog (second post down).

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