South African wine producers put in a remarkable performance in the Six Nations Wine Challenge 2018, winning three trophies, 12 double-gold and 19 gold awards.
The Six Nations Wine Challenge, which begun in 2003, judges wines from six New World nations – Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and United States of America. One influential wine judge from each country is invited to list their country’s top 100 wines covering 16 typical varietal classes. By invitation from the Challenge head office, wines are then shipped to a secret location in Sydney where judges convene for a week in August to judge wines blind by numbers. When the judges left to go home they were unaware of the winners until yesterday (17 October 2018).
In the overall winners category, Elgin’s Paul Wallace Wines was the only South African producer to receive a double gold award for its Black Dog Malbec 2015. Kaapzicht’s Bush Vine Cinsaut 2017, Kanonkop Estate’s Pinotage 2015 and Stellenrust Old Bush Vine Cinsaut 2016 all received Judges Selection.
But it was Morgenster Estate’s Reserve 2014 (Bordeaux Blends), Nederburg‘s Private Bin S316 Noble Late Harvest Weisser Riesling 2004 (Dessert Wine) and Stellenrust‘s 52 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2016 (Other Wines – Non-Aromatic) that took top honours by each receiving a trophy award in their respective wine style class.
The Double Gold winners were: Tokara Directors Reserve 2014, Vilafonte Series C 2015 (Bordeaux Blends); Nederburg’s Private Bin Eminence Noble Late Harvest Muscadel 2012 (Dessert Wine); Overhex Survivor Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (Sauvignon Blanc); Delaire Graff Estate Swartland Reserve Chenin Blanc 2016, Perdeberg The Dry Land Collection Courageous Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2016, Spier’s 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2016 (Other Whites – Non-Aromatic); Cederberg Private Cellar Five Generations Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Kanonkop Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 and Uva Mira Mountain Vineyard The Dance Cabernet Franc 2015 (Cabernet Sauvignon); Graham Beck Wines Cuvée Clive MCC CH PN 2012 (sparkling),
Meerlust’s Rubicon 2015 won gold in the Bordeaux Blend class while De Krans’s Tritonia Calitzdorp Blend 2016, Eikendal’s Charisma 2016 and Saronsberg’s Full Circle 2016 each palmed a gold award in the Red Blend class.
Other notable gold award winners were: Glenelly Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2016, Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Chardonnay 2017, Paul Cluver Seven Flags Chardonnay 2017 (Chardonnay); Backsberg Family Reserve 2017, Vondeling Babiana 2017 (White Blends); Bouchard Finlayson Tete de Cuvee Pinot Noir 2013, Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2017 (Pinot Noir); Shannon Vineyards Mount Bullet Merlot 2015 (Merlot & Carmenere); Cederberg Private Cellar Shiraz 2016 (Shiraz/Syrah); Nederburg II Centuries Cab Sauv 2013, Rustenburg Peter Barlow Cab Sauv 2015, Raats Family Wines Cab Franc 2015 (Cabernet Sauvignon); Boschendal Jean de Long Blanc de Blancs Presige Cuvee MCC CH 2008, Laborie Blanc de Blancs MCC CH 2011 (sparkling).