IWSC 2016: South Africa top-scores with Chenin, Pinotage AND Cabernet


Abraham Perold
Trophy Winner

DeMORGENZON is unquestionably one of South Africa’s top white wine producers and the success of this Stellenbosch outfit on the show circuit internationally over the past couple of years has been particularly impressive. The team returned from the 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards in London with a trophy for best Chardonnay, which could have put a few Burgundian noses out of joint, and it’s with their flagship Reserve Chenin Blanc that they’ve again beaten the French, again in the UK, again with the 2015 vintage, this time at the 2016 International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) where Cape cellars triumphed with the trophies for best Chenin Blanc, best Cabernet Sauvignon and, of course, best Pinotage.

At the 2016 edition of the IWSC, a competition founded nearly 50 years ago, South African wine farms were awarded 39 gold medals (see below) with nine of them termed ‘outstanding’ and three of these going on to earn champion status in their respective classes. It’ll be a huge upset if/when a wine made from grapes grown outside South Africa wins a major award for Pinotage, the result of crossing Pinot Noir with Cinsaut in Stellenbosch back in the day (1925). On this occasion the 2014 Owl Post Pinotage from Neethlingshof Estate in Stellenbosch came out on top – a wine from a cellar that’s won here before, in 2002, and which was competing against the product of cellars with some of the best track records as showcased in the SA Classification. And as much as Pinotage is the country’s ‘indigenous’ red, Chenin is South Africa’s standout white variety in terms of most widely planted, biggest plantings and little competition internationally apart from the Loire in France. DeMorgenzon‘s 2015 Reserve won a trophy at the International Wine Challenge in London AND had also won at the local Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge before victory at the IWSC. Whereas it’s a case of early days still for the Nederburg Auction Cab 2013: the wine bottled in Paarl has a good CV alright but this was the first showing of a vintage yet to ‘go under the hammer’ at the time of rating. Must have raised eyebrows in Bordeaux!

nederburg-private-bin-r163-cabernet-sauvignon-2013-pack-shot-hr-label-tweakedTop-rated wines at IWSC 2016


DeMorgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc 2015
Nederburg Private Bin R163 Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Neethlingshof The Owl Post Pinotage 2014


Boschendal Elgin Chardonnay 2014
Delheim Edelspatz Noble Late Harvest 2015
Diemersfontein Carpe Diem Pinotage 2014
Hartenberg Shiraz 2013
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Neethlingshof Malbec 2015


Barton Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015
Beau Constantia Aidan 2013 (Red Blend)
Bellingham The Bernard Series Basket Press Syrah 2014
Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2011
Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2013
Bouchard Finlayson Tête de Cuvée Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2013
Daschbosch Hanepoot 2015 (uniWines)
De Grendel Rubaiyat 2014 (Red Blend)
De Wetshof Finesse Chardonnay 2015
First Sighting Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Strandveld)
Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
KWV Abraham Perold Tributum 2013 (Cape Blend)
KWV The Mentors Noble Late Harvest 2015
La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Lanzerac Le Général 2013 (Cape Blend)
L’Avenir Single Block Chenin Blanc 2015
Louisvale Chardonnay Pinot Noir Rosé 2014 (MCC Sparkling)
Lourensford Limited Release Chardonnay 2015
Morrisons Signature Shiraz 2015 (Origin)
Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur Chenin Blanc Noble Late Harvest 2005
Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur Chenin Blanc Noble Late Harvest 2009
Nederburg Private Bin Eminence Noble Late Harvest Muscadel 2007
Nederburg Private Bin Eminence Noble Late Harvest Muscadel 2012
Neethlingshof The Six Flowers 2015 (White Blend)
Ondine Semillon 2014 (Ormonde)
Paul Cluver Riesling Noble Late Harvest 2014
Rebus Cape Cuvée 2011 (Cape Blend, Romond)
Rustenberg Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Saronsberg Provenance Seismic Rooi 2013 (Red Blend)
Saronsberg Shiraz 2014


For the full results and more information about the International Wine & Spirit Competition, click here. For prices and availability, see here.