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Malbec 2020 Challenge Awards
At the awards function held
at 96 Winery Road outside Somerset West on Thursday 15th October,
the winner of the 2020 Malbec Challenge was announced. First time entry Mount
Vernon 2015 Malbec was the highest scoring wine in the line-up of 21 wines.
There were 11 gold medals awarded, including Mount Vernon, well up on the five
in 2019, a recognition of the quality of the wines and growing expertise of the
Despite the Lockdown
challenges, the 21 entries compares favourably with 26 last year, (which
included multiple vintages), and while seven of those producers didn’t have
wine to enter this year, that was compensated by 11 new producers who entered
their wines in the 2020 Challenge. It bodes well for the future, for when
things get back to normal, that there is such a high level of interest.
The Challenge was organised
by Celia Gilloway of Events by Celia.
Once again, judging was done
blind (no origin or vintage given) by a panel of five tasters using the
international 100 point system, and took place on September 29th. The panel,
chaired by Cape Wine Master Christine Rudman, consisted of Anton Swarts, Cape
Wine Master and senior winemaker at Spier in Stellenbosch; award-winning wine
and food writer Malu Lambert, all of whom had judged in 2019; Samarie Smith,
ex-editor of Versnit in Die Burger and currently PR consultant for the Cape
Winemakers Guild; and Johannesburg-based sommelier Tinashe Nyamudoka, founder
of Kumusha Wines.
When asked what had inspired
them to plant Malbec at Mount Vernon, the answer from Debbie Hooper,
cellarmaster and co-owner with husband Dave, was that it was on the advice of Walter Finlayson. That was in 1999/2000,
and while initially they shared early harvests with David and Walter at Glen
Carlou, as their own demand increased, the full crop was harvested for Mount
nationwide are still small, well under 1% of vineyards, and production is
juicy, soft-skinned variety, Malbec requires care in the vineyard to avoid
over-cropping or sunburn damage, and in the cellar quick and careful
fermentation to prevent oxidation. The winning gold medal wines used either
only older oak or a combination of new and used barrels, to showcase the
succulent drinkability part of its character.
The competition has a
generous sponsor, RX South Africa, agents of Tonnellerie de Mercurey wine barrels, an internationally respected
family-owned specialist business based in France. The oak comes from three
different forests, to create a wide range of barrel styles and qualities for
international wine cellar requirements, with the stave mill located in
Mount Vernon’s prize is a
free new barrel, size of their choice, while additionally, RX South Africa provided
funding for the Awards function.
SILVER (alphabetical order) Akkerdal Malbec 2015 Blaauwklippen Malbec 2019 Diemersdal Malbec 2019 Enfin Alice Malbec 2017 Hildenbrand Single Vineyard Malbec 2018 Hillcrest Saartjie Single Vineyard selection Malbec 2018 Le Pommier Jonathan’s Malbec 2019 Perdeberg The Vineyard Collection Malbec 2019 Rustenberg Stellenbosch Malbec 2019
The winning wine and the gold medalists
Winner and Gold Medalists receiving their certificates.
Social Photographs taken at the lunch
MY WYN WINS INAUGURAL CAB FRANC
2 Septembert 2020
My Wyn, a small winery in the
hills of Franschhoek, has won the inaugural Cobie van Oort Cabernet Franc
Trophy for the highest score during the 2020 Cab Franc Challenge.
For the first time since the
inception of the Challenge in 2016, it was decided to award the highest scoring
wine overall with a floating trophy.
This trophy is called the Cobie van Oort Cab Franc Challenge Trophy and
the inaugural winner is My Wyn from Franschhoek. Winemaker Jacoline Haasbroek felt it was a
great honour and the trophy will be displayed in her tasting room for the next
year! Cobie passed away suddenly on 24
June and a suggestion was made to create this award in her legacy.
Cobie, who together with Celia
Gilloway from Events by Celia, started the Cabernet Franc Challenge in 2016
with 33 entries, which has subsequently grown by more than 50%.
Celia suggested that a trophy, in
honour of Cobie, would let her legacy live on in the minds and hearts of all
producers and Cab Franc Lovers. Cobie
was extremely passionate about the varietal and felt that something had to be
done to expose this “Bordeaux Grape” to a much bigger audience. Cobie also initiated the first Cab Franc
Carnival, which was held at Avontuur Estate in 2015.
The Cabernet Franc Challenge is a
100% blind tasting, judged by 5 well respected and experienced tasters from the
industry. This year’s panel was once
again led by Chair Christine Rudman, Greg Mutambe, Malu Lambert, Lizette Tolken
and Fiona McDonald.
Christine commented on the 2020
Challenge with the following:: “There were 52 entries, the same as in 2019, and
while many of the previous winners participated, there were also some new
entries. Judging out of 100.
With Covid 19 putting a stop to large
gatherings of people and therefore making it impossible to host the 2020
Cabernet Franc Carnival at the Vrede en Lust winery in the Franschhoek Region,
Cab Franc Lovers’ will need to wait until 2021 to attend this very popular
CAB FRANC CHALLENGE 2020 WINNERS ANNOUNCED
The 5th Cabernet
Franc Challenge impressed with 52 entries (the same number as in 2019), with
many wines entered by previous participants and a few new wineries who took the
plunge this year. Winners were announced in the Top 6 Category, the Blends
Category and the Vintage Category. A
Best Value Winner was also again selected by the organisors. Thirty-Six additional Gold medals were awarded
across all categories as well.
The Top 6 winners (in
alphabetical order) are: Anthology
Cabernet Franc 2017, David Finlayson Camino Africana Cabernet Franc 2017, High
Constantia Cabernet Franc 2012, Rainbow’s End Limited Release Cabernet Franc
2018, Rietvallei JMB Cabernet Franc 2016 and Whalehaven Cabernet Franc 2015
Cape Wine Master and head of
the judging panel since the start of the competition, Christine Rudman commented about the
geographical spread of entries; “Once again Stellenbosch, with the most
plantings, dominated, but Franschhoek and Paarl had a significant number of
entries. The rest came from Robertson, Darling, Elgin, Bot River, Constantia,
Cape Town/Durbanville, Wellington and Coastal. Of the 31 producers represented,
13 entered more than one wine, showing a growing Cabernet Franc specialisation.”
The vintage winner for this
year is My Wyn Cabernet Franc 2012 from Franschhoek, which was supported by
excellent Gold Medal entrants in this category. The panel was particularly
impressed by the 6 older wines (vintages 2012 – 2015), proving just how well
Cabernet Franc with good credentials can age. The wines were delicious, in
perfect drinking condition, yet still had a cellaring future.
Three winners emerged in the
Blends Category. They are Landskroon Paul Hugo Red 2018, Morgenster Lourens
River Valley 2011 and Warwick Trilogy 2016.
The Best Value Award was given to Ondine Cabernet Franc 2015 by Darling
stalwart Ormonde Vineyards, which retails at R115 per bottle.
The judging panel was made up
of Christine Rudman, Lizette Tolken, Greg Mutambe, Fiona McDonald and Malu
Lambert. Christine explains a bit more
about the judging procedure: “Judging out of 100, the panellists were given no
origin or vintage information, except being told the category – older wines,
blends, main entries. The only discussion permitted was after the tasting,
where general comments were asked for.”
“In the main judging
category, the panel looked for attributes that define the variety, giving it
uniquely its own personality. There were fewer herbaceous notes across the
range than in 2019, a reflection of the vintages, mainly 2017, with some 2018
and 2016. The best wines had balance, elegance, suppleness and complexity,
showing layers of fruit and tertiary perfumes and flavours,” she commented.
The judging took place at Cab
Franc Carnival 2020 sponsor and venue host Vrede en Lust Estate in Simondium on
Tuesday, 17 March. The results were
independently audited and verified by Cecil Kilpin & Co. The Top 6 can be
tasted in two tutored tasting sessions at this year’s Cab Franc Carnival, which
takes place at Vrede en Lust Estate on Saturday, 22 August from 11h00-16h00.
Tickets for the event and the intimate tutored tasting sessions can be
purchased from www.plankton.mobi.
SIX SINGLE VARIETALS (ALPHABETICAL)
Anthology Cabernet Franc 2017
David Finlayson Camino Africana Cabernet
High Constantia Cabernet Franc 2012
Rainbow’s End Limited Release Cabernet
Rietvallei JMB Cabernet Franc 2016
Whalehaven Cabernet Franc 2015
My Wyn Cabernet Franc 2012
THREE BLENDS (ALPHABETICAL)
Landskroon Paul Hugo Red 2018
Morgenster Lourens River Valley 2011
Warwick Trilogy 2016
VALUE – WINNER
Ondine Cabernet Franc 2015
MEDALS SINGLE VARIETAL (ALPHABETICAL)
Chamonix Cabernet Franc 2016
Druk My Niet Cabernet Franc 2014
High Constantia Cabernet Franc 2015
Hillcrest Saartjie Single Vineyard Cabernet
Jordan Cabernet Franc 2018
Journey’s End V5 Cabernet Franc 2017
Kleinhoekkloof Cabernet Franc 2016
KWV The Mentors Cabernet Franc 2017
KWV The Mentors Cabernet Franc 2018
Leipzig Cabernet Franc 2019
Linton Park Louis Fourie Reserve Cabernet
Lisha Nelson Cabernet Franc 2018
Mitre’s Edge Cabernet Franc 2017
Mont du Toit Les Coteaux Cabernet Franc
Môreson Cabernet Franc 2017
Morgenster Cabernet Franc 2018
My Wyn Cabernet Franc 2016
Raats Dolomite Cabernet Franc 2017
Raats Dolomite Cabernet Franc 2018
Raats Family Cabernet Franc 2016
Raats Family Cabernet Franc 2017
Rainbow’s End Cabernet Franc 2017
Rainbow’s End Cabernet Franc 2018
Ridgeback Cabernet Franc 2016
Ridgeback Cabernet Franc 2017
Vrede en Lust Artisan Range Cabernet Franc
Whalehaven Cabernet Franc 2014
Wildekrans Reserve Barrel Select Cabernet
On Tuesday December 3rd , the five gold medallists of the 2019 Malbec Challenge were announced at a function at The Wood Mill in Stellenbosch. The winning wines were Mitre’s Edge 2017 (also the top scorer); Blake’s Single Vineyard 2018 (only to be released in 2020); Bizoe Idioglossla 2017; Bellevue 2016 and Neethingshof 2013.
The Challenge judging by a panel of five tasters using the international 100 point system had taken place on November12th. The panel, chaired by Cape Wine Master Christine Rudman, consisted of Anton Swarts, Cape Wine Master and senior winemaker at Spier in Stellenbosch; award-winning wine and food writer Malu Lambert; Nomonde Kubheka ex-KWV winemaker and currently training facilitator for Winetech; and sommelier/wine writer Barry Scholfield.
There were 26 entries, just under half of all the single varietal Malbec bottlings on the market.
When asked what had inspired them to plant Malbec, the answers from the winemakers had a common theme, either for it to be part of the classic 5-variety Bordeaux blend, in the case of Lola Nicholls of Mitre’s Edge and Wilhelm Kritzinger of Bellevue, or because they had visited countries where Malbec is widely grown and were impressed by it.
Andries Blake of Blake Family Wines’ love affair with Malbec started about 10 years ago on a visit to Argentina, while Rikus Neethling of Bizoe remembers the variety from a trip to Buenos Aires, deciding there and then to include it in their range. Bizoe buys in grapes, which for the winning 2017 vintage came from Swartland and Stellenbosch. De Wet Viljoen’s discovery was in the Cahors in France, where he and his wife went for their honeymoon.
A juicy, soft-skinned variety, Malbec requires care in the vineyard to avoid over-cropping or sunburn damage, and in the cellar quick and careful fermentation to prevent oxidation. The winning wines used either only older oak or a combination of new and used barrels, to showcase the succulent drinkability part of its character.
Plantings are still small, well under 1% of vineyards, and production is limited, except for Bellevue which is also to be found in Woolworths.
The competition has a generous sponsor, RX South Africa, agents of Tonnellerie de Mercurey wine barrels, an internationally respected family-owned specialist business based in France. The oak comes from three different forests, to create a wide range of barrel styles and qualities for international wine cellar requirements, with the stave mill located in Champagne.
Mitre’s Edge’s prize is a free new barrel, size of their choice, while all participants in the competition have been offered a 7.5% discount on barrel purchases for the 2020 season. In addition, funding was provided for the Awards function.
Finally, on a personal note, the Idioglossla part of Bizoe Malbec’s name refers to the language of twins, the 6 year-old boys of Rikus and Estalet Neethling, while Andries Blake has named his second boat Malbec, a name his first boat also carried.
and the sponsors’ are:
and the winner is: Mitre’s Edge for their Malbec 2017
Responding to producer requests, Celia Gilloway of Events by Celia organised a Malbec tasting competition which was judged on November 12th at Mitre’s Edge in Stellenbosch by an experienced panel of five. There were 26 entries out of the 55 single bottlings listed in the 2020 Platter Guide, making it admirably well-subscribed for its first appearance. The winners will be announced at an Awards lunch presided over by Chef Craig Cormack, at The Wood Mill in Stellenbosch on Tuesday December 3rd.
The judging was done blind with no origin or vintage revealed, using the international 100 point system and was overseen by an auditor from Cecil Kilpin & Co. There were five gold medals awarded, which included a clear winner, and 15 silvers. Entries came mainly from Stellenbosch and its wards, and also from Darling, Elgin, Walker Bay, Franschhoek, Paarl, Cape Town/Durbanville, Coastal and Western Cape.
The panel, chaired by Cape Wine Master Christine Rudman, consisted of Anton Swarts, Cape Wine Master and senior winemaker at Spier in Stellenbosch; award-winning wine and food writer Malu Lambert; Nomonde Kubheka ex-KWV and currently training facilitator for Winetech and the Pinotage Youth Development Academy; and sommelier/wine writer Barry Scholfield. There was consensus on the top five wines, and all the other scores fell within a narrow band.
The competition has a generous sponsor, RX South Africa, agents of Tonnellerie de Mercury wine barrels, an internationally respected family-owned specialist business based in France. The oak comes from three different forests, to create a wide range of barrel styles and qualities for international wine cellar requirements, with the stave mill located in Champagne.
The winning Malbec’s producer gets a free new barrel, size of their choice, while all participants in the competition have been offered a 7.5% discount on barrel purchases for the 2020 season. In addition, funding has been provided for the Awards function.
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The 5th Cabernet Franc Challenge impressed with 52 entries (the same number as in 2019), with many wines entered by previous participants and a few new wineries who took the plunge this year. Winners were announced in the Top 6 Category, the Blends Category and the Vintage Category. A Best Value Winner was also again selected …