KWV swept the boards at the 2015 Veritas Awards, South Africa’s premier wine and brandy competition, 09 October. The Paarl producer’s winning wines reaped 5 Double Gold and 9 Gold medals at the 25th edition of the competition. Nederburg was the closest contender in the medal stakes with 2 Double Gold and 11 Gold, followed by Spier with 2 Double Gold and 8 Gold awards.
Kanonkop and Ormonde shared fourth position in the medal rankings with 2 Double Gold and 2 Gold each. Oak Valley Wines, Perdeberg and Rustenberg won 2 Double Gold and 1 Gold award each. Kleine Zalze won 2 Double Gold medals.
In the fortified wines category Boplaas and KWV shared the honours with 1 Double Gold and 3 Gold wines each and Conradie Family Vineyards took 1 Double Gold medal.
KWV also excelled in the brandy category with 3 Double Gold and 1 Gold medal. Van Ryn’s clinched 2 Double Gold and 2 Gold awards. Oude Meester won 2 Double Gold and 1 Gold medal. Richelieu was awarded 1 Double Gold and 1 Gold medal. Collison’s, Flight of the Fish Eagle and Oude Molen’s Ladismith brandy each earned 1 Double Gold medal. Klipdrift scored 2 Gold awards.
Best Performer by Entry title went to Kanonkop in the category for 10 wines or less, whilst KWV triumphed in the class for more than 10 wines.
Five wine industry luminaries – Cassie du Plessis, Jos le Roux, Bill Gallagher, Michael Green and Jan Scannell – received the Living Legends scroll of honour in recognition of their invaluable contribution to the South African wine and brandy industries.
The dazzling Veritas 25th gala dinner, held at the CTICC, was sponsored by Agri-Expo with celebrity chefs Bertus Basson and David Higgs adding a fine culinary touch to the sumptuous dinner prepared by Warwick Thomas executive Chef of CTICC.
Double Gold wines
KWV won 5 Double Gold medals for: Abraham Perold Tributum 2013, The Mentors Chardonnay 2012, The Mentors Orchestra 2011, The Mentors Sauvignon Blanc Darling 2013 and The Mentors Sémillon Darling 2014.
Nederburg’s Double Gold glory went to Nederburg II Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur 2005.
Spier won Double Gold for the Savanha Naledi Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and The Hutton Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Woolworths) 2013.
Kanonkop’s pair of Double Gold Medals for the 2009 and 2012 Pinotage attest to their prowess with this variety.
Ormonde Vineyards’ 2013 Chip off the Old Block Shiraz and Shiraz won Double Gold.
Oak Valley Wines was awarded Double Gold with Oak Valley Elgin Chardonnay 2014 and Oak Valley Pinot Noir 2013.
Perdeberg scooped 2 Double Gold medals for Perdeberg The Dry Land Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2014 and Saam Mountain The Middelburg Chenin Blanc 2013.
Rustenburg Wines clinched 2 Double Golds for Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay 2012 and Rustenberg Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon 2009.
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sur Lie Sauvignon Blanc 2015 and Kleine Zalze Vintage Brut Chardonnay/Pinot Noir MCC 2009 each won Double Gold.
A total of 22 producers won 1 Double Gold each: Anura, Babylons Peak, Badsberg, Beyerskloof, Boschkloof, Darling Cellars, Cederberg Private Cellar, DGB Boschendal, Diemersdal, Durbanville Hills, Eagle’s Nest Wines, Het Vlock Casteel, Lanzerac, Le Bonheur, Longavi (Chile), Neethlingshof, Org de Rac, Peter Falke Wines, Saronsberg, Simonsig, Tokara and Villiera.
The fortified kings
A total of 3 Double Gold and 19 Gold medals were awarded to top fortified wines. The winning Double Gold trio are: Boplaas CapeTawny Vintner's Reserve Bin 1880 NV, Conradie Family Vineyards Muskadel Limited Release 2009 and KWV Classic Collection Cape Tawny Dessert Wine NV.
The brandy masters
South Africa’s leading brandy producers garnered 11 Double Gold and 7 Gold medals. KWV scooped 3 Double Gold awards with the KWV 10 year Potstill Brandy, KWV 12 year Potstill Brandy and KWV Alambic 15 year Potstill Brandy. Oude Meester Demant Potstilled Brandy and Oude Meester Souverein Potstilled Brandy 18 year were all awarded Double Gold. Van Ryn’s clinched 2 Double Gold medals with the Van Ryn’s 12 year old Vintage Brandy and Van Ryn’s 15 year old Vintage Brandy. Veritas Double Gold medals were also awarded to: Collison’s White Gold, Flight of the Fish Eagle, Oude Molen Ladismith 8 year Brandy, and Richelieu 10 year old Brandy.
A total of 1 763 medal contenders were rated by an authoritative line-up of international judges joined by local wine specialists. Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon occupied the top three categories with 229, 167 and 132 entries respectively. A total of 32 brandies were entered in three categories: Standard, Potstill and Vintage. Overall 57 double gold, 157 gold, 473 silver and 662 bronze medals were awarded this year.
Amongst the wines Sauvignon Blanc scored the highest number of Double Gold medals (9), followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz (5 each), Pinotage (4), MCC (3), Chardonnay (3), Cape Blend (3), Other Red Blends (3), Bordeaux Blend (2), Chenin Blanc (1), Semillon (1), Merlot (1), Pinot Noir (1), Museum Red Wine (1) and Museum Noble Late Harvest (1). Shiraz was the top-scorer in the Gold medal stakes with 14 awards, followed by Chenin Blanc (13), Other Red Blends (11), Chardonnay (10), Sauvignon Blanc (10), Cabernet Sauvignon (10), Bordeaux Blend (9), Pinotage (8), Other White Cultivars (6), Merlot (5), Pinot Noir (4), White blends (4), MCC (4), Noble Late Harvest (3), Malbec (2), Natural Sweet, Blanc de Noir, Rosé (2), Cape Blend (2), Museum White Wine (2), Museum Red Wine (2), Museum Noble Late Harvest (2), Semillon (1), Viognier (1), Straw wine (1), MCC Rosé (1), White & red (predominantly white (1), Cabernet Franc (1) and Museum MCC (1).
Fortified wines achieved three Double Gold awards with Port (2) and Red Muscadel (1) and Gold awards for Port (5), Museum Port (3), Red Muscadel (4), Dessert (2), Museum White Dessert (2), White Muscadel (1), Museum Red Dessert (1) and Sherry (1). In the Brandy section Potstill brandy scored 11 Double Gold medals and six Gold medals. Standard brandies were awarded two gold medals.
For the 2015 competition, eight international judges joined the line-up representing various countries. The international tasters were: Lynne Sherriff from the UK, MW and Cape Wine Master and one of the world’s most authoritative wine experts; Debra Meiburg MW from Hong Kong co-founder of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition; Cees van Casteren MW Chairman of the Dutch Association of Vinologists, wine writer, educator and consultant; Rebecca Leung, one of Hong Kong’s most notable wine writers, an independent educator and consultant; Tersina Shieh, a former marketer, winemaker and avid promoter of wine culture in Hong Kong and China; Taiwan-based Mark Pygott, a wine educator, consultant and writer as well as Masters of Wine candidate. Denis Lahouratate, cellar master at the French House of Bisquit Cognac and Dave Hughes, one of South Africa’s leading wine and spirits experts with more than 40 years of extensive international experience. The entire judging process is independently audited by Deloitte.
Taste the winners
Wine lovers have the opportunity to sample the top-performing double gold and gold medal winning wines and brandies at country-wide tastings sponsored by Deloitte. The Veritas showcase tastings will take place in Cape Town (20 October), Johannesburg (27 October), Durban (4 November), Port Elizabeth (10 November) and Knysna (11 and 12 November).