Surprising, convincing victory for Stark-Condé at ‘New World’ Challenge

six-nations-logo-3THE ANNUAL Six Nations Wine Challenge contested by some of the leading ‘New World’ producers of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Canada and the USA is unlike any other wine competition on the planet. A respected wine authority from each of the six countries involved chooses what he considers to be 100 of the very best products of his country and the the respective cellars are then invited to compete, with samples shipped to a tasting venue in Sydney, Australia.

The panel of six experts involved in the nomination process and entrusted with the judging in 2016 were: chairman Huon Hooke (Australia), Michael Fridjhon (South Africa), Bob Campbell MW (New Zealand), Jon Bonné (USA), Eduardo Brethauer (Chile) and Christopher Waters (Canada). This time round, New Zealand and the USA were most successful, with the top three trophies going to the sparkling Roederer L’Ermitage Brut Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2007 (USA), Anthony Road Dry Riesling 2014 (USA) and Akarua Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2014 (New Zealand). South Africa’s top achievements were in the categories of Shiraz (Cederberg), Cabernet Sauvignon (Rustenberg), Other/Niche Red Varieties (Rijk’s) and White Blends (Stark-Condé).

The victory by Stark-Condé‘s 2015 Field Blend of Roussanne, Chenin, Verdelho and Viognier was the closest the panel came to a unanimous decision – three judges voting it top of the class and two judges ranking it second. The wine originates from a block unlike any other on a farm in the Jonkershoek Valley of Stellenbosch that is better known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz: there are 11 different soil types and a mix of varieties that are picked, pressed and fermented together – hence the name. Unheard of by many including panel chair Huon Hooke prior to the 2016 Challenge, the wine was first made in 2012 and the vines are only eight years old.

For more about the competition and for the full results, see here. For availability and pricing, see here. South Africa’s winning wines as follows:

TROPHY WINNERS AT THE 2016 SIX NATIONS WINE CHALLENGE

Cederberg Shiraz 2013 – Winery in Cederberg
Rijk’s Reserve Pinotage 2012 – Winery in Tulbagh
Rustenberg Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – Winery in Simonsberg-Stellenbosch
Stark-Condé The Field Blend 2015 (White Blend) – Winery in Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch

WINNERS OF DOUBLE GOLD MEDALS

Bellingham The Bernard Series Whole Bunch Roussanne 2015 – Franschhoek Cellar
Eikendal Charisma 2013 (Red Blend) – Winery in Helderberg, Stellenbosch
Gabriëlskloof The Blend 2013 (Red Blend) – Winery in Bot River
Kershaw Chardonnay 2014 – Winery in Elgin
KWV The Mentors Grenache Blanc 2014 – Winery in Paarl
Nederburg II Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – Winery in Paarl
Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur Chenin Blanc Noble Late Harvest 2005 – Winery in Paarl
Nitida Coronata Integration 2014 (White Blend) – Winery in Durbanville
Saronsberg Full Circle 2014 (Red Blend) – Winery in Tulbagh
Spioenkop Riesling 2015 – Winery in Elgin
Uva Mira O.T.V. 2013 (Red Blend) – Winery in Helderberg, Stellenbosch

GOLD MEDALLISTS

Boekenhoutskloof Noble Late Harvest 2013 – Winery in Franschhoek
Boekenhoutskloof Syrah 2013 – Winery in Franschhoek
Creation The Art of Pinot Noir 2015 – Winery on Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge
Delaire Graff Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2013 – Winery in Banghoek, Stellenbosch
Delaire Graff Chenin Blanc Swartland Reserve 2014 – Winery in Banghoek, Stellenbosch
Delaire Graff Coastal Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc 2015 – Winery in Banghoek, Stellenbosch
Eikendal Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 – Winery in Helderberg, Stellenbosch
Eikendal Merlot 2014 – Winery in Helderberg, Stellenbosch
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2015 – Winery in Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
JC Le Roux Scintilla 2011 (MCC Sparkling) – Winery in Devon Valley, Stellenbosch
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2015 – Winery in Stellenbosch
Mvemve Raats De Compostella 2014 (Red Blend) – Winery in Stellenbosch
Nederburg Private Bin Eminence Noble Late Harvest Muscadel 2012 – Winery in Paarl
Nederburg The Young Airhawk Sauvignon Blanc 2015 – Winery in Paarl
Paul Cluver Seven Flags Chardonnay 2015 – Winery in Elgin
Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay 2013 – Winery in Ida’s Valley, Simonsberg-Stellenbosch
Sijnn Touriga Naçional 2014 – Winery in Malgas
Vergelegen G.V.B White 2013 – Winery in Somerset West
Vergelegen Reserve Semillon 2015 – Winery in Somerset West

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