Wine of Show
at Five Nations
(R130 a bottle)
WHAT ELSE must South Africa do to win the Five Nations Wine Challenge in Sydney?! The guys from the Western Cape dominated half a dozen or so of the 16 categories judged in 2012 and won five trophies including “Wine of Show” (top-scoring wine overall), yet it was competition host Australia that again scooped the title of “Country of Show” (winning nation), i.e. despite collecting fewer trophies and outshining the opposition in half as many classes. The New Zealanders must have been smarting too.
What swung it for the Aussies was their haul of double gold medals, one more than South Africa, and their gold medal tally which was almost twice as many as South Africa’s. Apparently, such is the system used to determine the winning country that it’s possible to win every class yet lose the overall title to a country with a greater medal count but an otherwise empty trophy cabinet. Moving on…
At this year’s Five Nations Challenge, South Africa’s strongest suits up against Argentina, Australia, Chile and New Zealand (with the USA set to come on board in 2013) were in the following categories:
Sparkling Wine : Villiera Monro Brut 2007 won a double gold medal and trophies for best in class and wine of the show, Desiderius Pongrácz 2003 won a double gold medal and placed second in the class, with another Cap Classique, Du Preez’s Hendrik Lodewyk NV, winning a gold medal
Chardonnay : South Africa won three of the five medals awarded, with double golds going to the 2010 Uva Mira, the 2011 Paul Cluver and KWV’s 2011 vintage under The Mentors label, and Uva Mira going on to win second place in the class behind Australia’s Xanadu Reserve 2010, which also won the trophy for Best White Wine of the Show
Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Semillon, Viognier : South Africa won four of the six medals awarded, with KWV The Mentors Grenache Blanc 2011 and Stellenrust Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2010 winning double gold medals and judged first and second in the class respectively, while Tokara Chenin Blanc 2009 also won double gold and Eagles’ Nest Viognier 2010 a gold
White Blends : Delaire Graff Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2010 and Vondeling Babiana 2009 won double gold medals, with Delaire going on to place second in the class behind Argentina’s Luigi Bosca Gala 2010
Shiraz : De Grendel 2010 and Haskell Aeon 2010 won double gold medals, with De Grendel placed second in the class behind Chile’s Polkura 2009
Cabernet Sauvignon : The 2009 from Stark-Condé won a double gold medal and went on to win the trophy for best in class, with The Mint 2009 from Thelema winning a gold medal
Dessert Wine : South Africa won 50% of the medals awarded in this category, with double gold recipients including The Bergkelder’s Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest 2010, which also won the trophy for best in class, as well as Nederburg’s 2007 and 2008 vintages of Eminence and their 2010 vintage of The Winemaster’s Noble Late Harvest
Other SA medallists included three red blends, namely The Bergkelder’s Fleur du Cap Laszlo 2006 (double gold), Saronsberg Full Circle 2010 (gold) and Haskell’s Dombeya Altus 2007 (gold), plus Bouchard Finlayson Tête de Cuvée Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2009 and Jordan’s The Real McCoy Riesling 2011 (both gold).
Other class-winning double gold medallists included: Framingham Select Riesling 2010 (NZ), Matua Single Vineyard Wairau Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (NZ), Domaine Chandon Pinot Noir Rosé 2012 (Aus), Mills Reef Elspeth Merlot 2010 (NZ), and Akarua Pinot Noir 2010 (NZ), which also won the trophy for Best Red Wine of the Show.
For more information about the Five Nations Challenge and full results of the 2012 edition, click here.