Which SA wines boast best track records? Depends on who you ask!
FROM TIME to time Top Wine SA has fielded queries regarding how the South African Wine & Cellar Classifications compare with the South African Wine Index, which also has to do with good track records. For those who remain curious about the SAWi Wine Excellence Awards or how Top Wine SA’s selection of the country’s Top 100 and the Hall of Fame differ from SAWi’s Grand Wines Collection, the following should clear things up.
The SAWi Wine Excellence Awards are presented after measuring the performances of wines across multiple vintages according to the results of more than 100 local and international competitions and listings that range from widely respected to obscure, with the measurements expressed as values out of 100 in awarding medals (Grand Gold and Platinum) as well as trophies. The South African Grand Wines Collection (GWC) is based on those wines scoring more than 93 points in terms of SAWi’s multi-vintage “Algorithm of Excellence” using a 10-year performance track record and presented according to their ranking in descending order. The system involves “participating wineries”, a “cumulative average of the wines’ best results in several tastings over some years (with exceptions for new releases)” and reviews by both individual critics and tasting panels both with and without the knowledge of producers’ identities or the prices of the wines. More about the South African Wine Index here.
The SA Wine & Cellar Classifications are presented as the consensus of the top panels – a pooling of expert opinions about South African wines reviewed around the globe – based on the top ratings and awards in the most respected forums for the assessment of wine quality and interest value (about 30) where South African wines have a significant presence. The reviews are all by panels of judges (none by individuals) who conduct their assessments without knowing the names of the wines or their producers, the Classifications based on top ratings and awards presented during the previous 10 years – a minimum of three top-rated vintages to qualify (no exceptions for new releases) and without confounding matters by publishing scores used in the calibration process. The Top 100 wines in terms of the Classification are the most highly rated of the country’s most successful wines of the past 10 years and, as per the Top 10 and Top 20 in the various Classifications according to wine type or grape variety, they are presented alphabetically rather than in order of ranking.
The Top Wine SA Hall of Fame comprises those South African wines that stand out as having received top accolades – gold medal or better – from the top tasting panels locally and internationally for at least eight vintages in respect of a 10-year span of vintages rated during the past 10 years.
For more about the SA Wine & Cellar Classifications, see here.