Five standouts among premier Cap Classiques as of July 2017

THE ORGANISERS of the Decanter World Wine Awards in the UK describe their competition as the “most influential”. Ditto the International Wine Challenge, also of the UK, which goes further in claiming to be “the finest” and the “most meticulous”. But these are modest compared to The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships: “The most respected, prestigious and rigorous… No other fizz competition is as tough, nor can [they] match the consistency and accuracy of judging… No other competition can boast the breadth and quality of entries… The largest and most relevant…” Over the top?

Who knows how many wines were entered in CSWWC 2017, now in its fourth year. What we are told is that participants included producers from 29 countries, with the number of medallists announced this month put at 127 gold and 67 silver. There’s no telling how many South African producers participated, or how many SA wines were entered, but the medal winners announced this month included Klein Constantia (gold for their 2013 Brut) and Le Lude of Franschhoek (silver for their Agrafé 2012, their Brut NV and their Brut Rosé NV).

France won more gold medals (51) than any other wine-producing country, followed by Italy (37), England (14) and Australia (11). The judges: founder and panel chair Tom Stevenson of the UK, Essi Avellan MW of Finland, Dr Tony Jordan of Australia… For more info about the event, click here, or for all of the medallists, click here. The announcement of the trophy winners is scheduled for September, although with only one gold medal winner from the Cape winelands, it’s a foregone conclusion that the 2017 CSWWC trophy for best Cap Classique sparkling wine goes to Klein Constantia for their Brut 2013.

Previous CSWWC trophy winners from South Africa are Graham Beck Blanc de Blanc 2009, Avondale Armilla Blanc de Blanc 2009 and Graham Beck Cuvée Clive 2009 in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. However, Klein Constantia Brut is unchallenged for consistency at these World Championships, having achieved gold on three occasions to date – in 2014 with the 2011 vintage, in 2015 with the 2012 and in 2017 with vintage 2013.


Babylonstoren Sprankel 2011 – gold medal at International Wine Challenge and selling for R495 pb ex-cellar in Simonsberg-Paarl

Boschendal Jean Le Long Blanc de Blancs 2007 – gold medal at Trophy Wine Show and selling for R750 pb ex-cellar in Franschhoek

Constantia Uitsig Méthode Cap Classique 2013 – trophy at SA Trophy Wine Show and selling for R198 pb ex-cellar in Constantia

Klein Constantia Brut 2013 – gold medal at Sparkling Wine World Championships and selling for R230 pb ex-cellar in Constantia

Simonsig Cuvée Royale Blanc de Blancs 2012 – gold medal at Concours Mondial and selling for R300 pb ex-cellar in Koelenhof, Stellenbosch

And of the most successful Cap Classiques on show in 2017 to date, Klein Constantia Brut and Simonsig Cuvée Royale are included in the 2017 SA Sparkling Wine Classification, with Simonsig ranked among the Top 10. Full Classification here.


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