Abraham Perold Tributum oh such an appropriate winner

ONLY 2840 BOTTLES. 36% Pinotage,
27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Shiraz,
5% Petit Verdot, 5% Tannat, 5% Mal-
bec. 85% Stellenbosch, 15% Paarl.
16 months’ barrel maturation (70% new)

KWV’s PEROLD TRIBUTUM has got off to a promising start: silver medal at the 2012 International Wine Challenge, another at this year’s International Wine & Spirit Competition (also in London), and now one of the Top 3 in the (SA) Pinotage Association’s second annual Perold Absa Cape Blend Competition… Yup, a wine named in honour of a man has won a competition named in honour of the same man!

As a professor of viticulture at the University of Stellenbosch who subsequently worked for the KWV in Paarl, Abraham Izak Perold (1880 – 1941) was the person credited with crossing Cinsaut and Pinot Noir some 80 years ago to come up with Pinotage, a cultivar still fairly unique to South Africa. Perold was so very involved in various aspects of the SA wine industry’s development that perhaps it wasn’t that surprising when about 10 years ago KWV launched a Shiraz with Abraham Perold on the label. However, many were taken aback, to say the least, and for years the Pinotage ‘brotherhood’ engaged with those in KWV’s corridors of power until it was agreed that Perold’s role in the origin of Pinotage was so important as to be recognised in a competition that celebrates the variety. Not that the Shiraz has been discontinued – the 2011 Abraham Perold (sans Tributum) is still in barrel, perhaps to be released in 2013 or 2014. And not that a single-varietal Pinotage under the Perold label is on the cards for anytime soon.

What is a Cape Blend? According to the Pinotage Association: a combination of red varieties in which Pinotage is a component that contributes between 30 and 70% of the mix. And KWV’s description of Tributum 2010, its first-ever Cape Blend: fresh blueberry and cherry aromas with undertones of pencil shavings and cloves; concentrated palate with savoury nuances, finishing with fine, silky tannins. According to the winemakers: soft, with multi-layered fruit and spice; enjoy now or cellar for up to eight years…

The other Perold Cape Blend Competition winners for 2012: Beyerskloof Faith 2009 from the Stellenbosch cellar which is home to South Africa’s No. 1 Pinotage ambassador, Beyers Truter, and Windmeul Cape Blend Reserve 2007 from a Paarl cellar on the other side of Paarl Rock (mountain) relative to KWV, one of the best-value producers on the SA wine scene this year. The prize: a trip overseas to whatever wine-producing country the cellar wishes to explore and learn from.

For the prices of these wines and others that have received good reviews this year and last, click here. For the Pinotage Association website, click here.