Monthly Archives: June 2016

2016 SAWi Wine Excellence Awards

The South African Wine Index (SAWi) was established in 2009 with the aim of independently identifying South Africa’s best wines. SAWi’s hope was that the collection of these best wines, or ‘South African Grand Wines’ (see Part 2), would then allow for the international promotion of the South African wine industry as a producer of high-quality wines, in contrast to its reputation at the time as a producer of cheap bulk wine.

SAWi’s unique ‘Algorithm of Excellence’ is applied to measure the performance of individual wines, across multiple vintages, and compares and condenses the results from more than 100 multinational competitions, reviews and listings, acknowledging the nature of the competition and any additional accolades bestowed on a wine, and expresses this as a single value out of 100.

Through the ongoing indexing process, it is now easy to distinguish top performing producers, and which of their wines are consistently accepted as exceptional. In addition to making the international promotion of the best South African wines possible, the Index offers consumers an opportunity to make a reliable decision about which wines to buy – without being subject to the necessary vagaries of annual wine competitions, or a vintage-specific performance.

SAWi sets two aspirational benchmarks against which to measure wine quality: Grand Gold status, which is awarded to wines that score more than 93 Index points, and Platinum status, for wines which score above 95. Together, these sets comprise the ‘South African Grand Wines Collection’.

Sourced from 585 wineries or more than 6000 wines, the ‘Grand Wines Collection’ currently includes 494 wines and only 203 wines, representing 66 wineries, have achieved Platinum status.

While SAWi indexes all South African wines as a matter of routine, SAWi members are invited to attend the annual SA Wine Index ‘Wine Excellence Awards’ at which their performance in particular is acknowledged.

The 2016 SAWi ‘Wine Excellence Awards’ were hosted, again, by Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, who accommodated guests in a number of luxurious rooms on the Grootbos property and in nearby De Kelders and Stanford.

Grootbos regularly tops various international travel lists as South Africa’s leading 5-star family friendly leisure destination for the environmentally and socially conscious. SAWi is proud to be associated with Grootbos, the home of the South African Wine Index Awards and most of SAWi’s top performing wines.

SAWi is pleased to be supported by Union Pay International and the SAWi ‘Algorithm of Excellence’ is endorsed by PKF Chartered Accountants.

2016 ‘Wine Excellence Awards’ Multi-year Highlights
This year, KWV took the most honours with 11 awards, followed by Cederberg’s and Spier’s 8, Saronsberg 7, while Bouchard Finlayson, Paul Cluver and Diemersdal received 6 awards each. As with a golf or tennis rating system, having received the most accolades does not necessarily imply a number 1 ranking position, but such performances take these wineries close to being coveted trophy winners.

See the full list of 2016 SAWi Wine Excellence Award winners here.

Comments on Achievements
Cultivars: At the seventh annual SAWi awards, Bordeaux Blend achievements dominated, scooping 32 accolades in total, just ahead of Shiraz with 30 acknowledgements, followed by Sauvignon Blanc with 27.

Chenin Blanc followed with 26, Chardonnay (which dominated in 2014) and MCCs with 23, Cabernet Sauvignon 21, Pinotage 18, White Wine Blends 13, Pinot Noir and Rhone Blends with 6, and other Red Blends with 4. In comparison with previous years, there were many more accolades for Brandies and Cape Ports.

Regions: Hemel-en-Aarde Valley dominated with 34 high-end accolades, with Paarl alongside (mainly due to the KWV’s contribution). These were followed by Constantia, Franschhoek and Tulbach on 23 each, Somerset Helderberg and Stellenbosch Central Wineries on 16 each, Elgin, Stellenbosch Kloof, Stellenbosch West, Stellenbosch Simonsberg and Blaauwklippen on 9 each, and Robertson with 7.

For the 2016 SAWi members’ Platinum and Grand Gold Recipients list, click here: 2016 SAWi Platinum and Grand Gold Recipients

2016 SAWi Platinum and Grand Gold Recipients

SAWi member Platinum (P) & Grand Gold (GG) Recipients

98.9 P Aaldering Vineyards & Wines Pinotage
97.2 P Aaldering Vineyards & Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
93.7 GG Aaldering Vineyards & Wines Sauvignon Blanc
94.6 GG Allee Bleue Wines Chenin Blanc
94.0 GG Allee Bleue Wines Pinotage
93.2 GG Allee Bleue Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
93.1 GG Allee Bleue Wines Shiraz
93.7 GG Alto Wine Estate Shiraz
93.8 GG Alto Wine Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
96.4 P Bellingham The Bernard Series Basket Press Shiraz
94.3 GG Bellingham The Bernard Series Small Barrel Shiraz Mourvedre Viognier
93.2 GG Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc
95.8 P Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage
93.0 GG Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve
95.8 P Boland Cellar Reserve Pinotage
95.7 P Boland Cellar Reserve Shiraz
94.2 GG Boland Cellar Reserve Chenin Blanc
93.6 GG Boland Cellar Reserve Merlot
93.2 GG Boland Cellar Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
99.7 P Boplaas Family Vineyards Cape Tawny Port
99.1 P Boplaas Family Vineyards Cape Vintage Reserve Port
94.7 GG Boplaas Family Vineyards Cape Tawny Vintners Reserve Port
93.3 GG Boplaas Family Vineyards Cape Vintage Port
95.0 P Boschendal Wines Reserve Shiraz
93.0 GG Boschendal Wines 1685 Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon
100.0 P Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir
100.0 P Bouchard Finlayson Tete de Cuvee Galpin Peak Pinot Noir
100.0 P Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal Sangiovese Pinot Shiraz Mourvedre Nebiolo Barbera
95.3 P Bouchard Finlayson Kaaimansgat Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay
93.1 GG Bouchard Finlayson Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
93.1 GG Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale Chardonnay
99.0 P Cape Chamonix Wine Farm Chardonnay Reserve
98.3 P Cape Chamonix Wine Farm Cape Chamonix Wine Farm Pinot Noir Reserve
99.8 P Cederberg Private Cellar Sauvignon Blanc
99.6 P Cederberg Private Cellar Shiraz
98.7 P Cederberg Private Cellar David Nieuwoudt Ghost Corner Semillon
97.7 P Cederberg Private Cellar David Nieuwoudt Ghost Corner Sauvignon Blanc
95.3 P Cederberg Private Cellar Teen Die Hoog Shiraz
94.4 GG Cederberg Private Cellar Chenin Blanc
94.4 GG Cederberg Private Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon
93.3 GG Cederberg Private Cellar Five Generations Cabernet Sauvignon
97.0 P Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc
96.8 P Constantia Glen Five Merlot Cabernet Malbec Cab Franc Petit Verdot
95.9 P Constantia Glen Two Sauvignon Blanc Semillon
95.8 P Constantia Glen Three Cabernet Sauvignon Cab Franc Merlot
99.3 P Creation Wines Reserve Pinot Noir
95.9 P Creation Wines Syrah Grenache
95.4 P Creation Wines Pinot Noir
94.3 GG Creation Wines Merlot
94.2 GG Creation Wines Viognier
94.1 GG Creation Wines Chardonnay
94.0 GG Creation Wines Syrah
97.7 P De Krans Vintage Reserve Port
96.9 P De Krans Cape Tawny Port
94.7 GG De Krans Touriga Nacional
100.0 P De Toren Private Cellar Fusion V Cabernet Cab Franc Petit Verdot Merlot Malbec
96.2 P De Toren Private Cellar Z Merlot Cabernet Cab Franc Malbec Petit Verdot
95.2 P De Trafford Wines De Trafford Wines
95.0 P De Trafford Wines Blueprint Shiraz
93.8 GG De Trafford Wines Straw Wine
93.6 GG De Trafford Wines Cabernet Sauvignon
93.3 GG De Trafford Wines De Trafford Wines Elevation 393 Cab Sauv Merlot Shiraz Cab Franc
100.0 P DeMorgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc
96.0 P DeMorgenzon Maestro Chenin Chardonnay Roussanne Viognier
97.2 P Diemersdal Estate Pinotage Reserve
95.1 P Diemersdal Estate Sauvignon Blanc Reserve
94.3 GG Diemersdal Estate Pinotage
94.1 GG Diemersdal Estate Private Collection Cabernet Sauv Merlot Cab Franc Malbec
94.1 GG Diemersdal Estate MM Louw Sauvignon Blanc
93.4 GG Diemersdal Estate 8 Rows Sauvignon Blanc
97.2 P Doolhof Wine Estate Signatures of Doolhof Pinotage
95.5 P Doolhof Wine Estate Signatures of Doolhof Malbec
100.0 P Eagles Nest Shiraz
96.6 P Eagles Nest Viognier
93.1 GG Eagles Nest Merlot
94.2 GG Edgebaston GS Cabernet Sauvignon
98.8 P Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest
94.0 GG Fleur du Cap Bergkelder Selection Laszlo Cabernet Sauv Merlot Cab Franc Shiraz
93.8 GG Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Semillon
93.8 GG Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon
93.3 GG Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Limited Release Sauvignon Blanc
93.7 GG Flight of the Fish Eagle Naturally Supreme Brandy
93.0 GG Franschhoek Cellar Statue de Femme Sauvignon Blanc
94.3 GG Graham Beck Wines Brut Sparkling Wine Mèthode Cap Classique NV
93.7 GG Graham Beck Wines Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine Mèthode Cap Classique Brut
93.5 GG Graham Beck Wines Rosé Sparkling Wine Mèthode Cap Classique NV
100.0 P Groot Constantia Estate Chardonnay
100.0 P Groot Constantia Estate Shiraz
97.9 P Groot Constantia Estate Gouverneurs Reserve Red Cab Sauv Merlot Cab Franc
97.8 P Groot Constantia Estate Sauvignon Blanc
97.3 P Groot Constantia Estate Pinotage
96.6 P Groot Constantia Estate Grand Constance Muscat
94.4 GG Groot Constantia Estate Reserve White Semillon Blend Semillon Sauvignon Blanc
100.0 P Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay
100.0 P Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir
100.0 P Jordan Wine Estate Nine Yards Chardonnay
97.7 P Jordan Wine Estate The Real McCoy Riesling
97.1 P Jordan Wine Estate Cobblers Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc Merlot
96.1 P Jordan Wine Estate Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc
95.9 P Jordan Wine Estate Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
93.2 GG Jordan Wine Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
95.4 P Joubert Tradauw Wingerde en Kelder Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
93.0 GG Joubert Tradauw Wingerde en Kelder Syrah
99.2 P Kanonkop Estate Pinotage
99.1 P Kanonkop Estate Paul Sauer Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc Merlot
100.0 P Ken Forrester Wines The FMC Chenin Blanc
95.6 P Ken Forrester Wines The Gypsy Shiraz Grenache
95.0 P Ken Forrester Wines Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc
93.3 GG Ken Forrester Wines Icon Range T Noble Late Harvest
100.0 P Klein Constantia Estate Vin de Constance
95.1 P Klein Constantia Estate Rhine Riesling
93.8 GG Klein Constantia Estate KC Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
93.1 GG Klein Constantia Estate Marlbrook Cabernet Sauv Merlot Cab Franc Malbec
93.0 GG Klein Constantia Estate Perdeblokke Sauvignon Blanc
100.0 P Kleine Zalze Wines Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
98.0 P Kleine Zalze Wines Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
97.1 P Kleine Zalze Wines Family Reserve Shiraz
96.8 P Kleine Zalze Wines Family Reserve Chenin Blanc
95.6 P Kleine Zalze Wines Vineyard Selection Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
93.1 GG Kleine Zalze Wines Vineyard Selection Barrel Matured Cabernet Sauvignon
95.8 P Klipdrift Gold Finest Old Matured Brandy
98.0 P KWV Brandy 20 YO Brandy
96.6 P KWV Brandy 15 YO Brandy
95.1 P KWV Brandy 10 YO Brandy
94.0 GG KWV Brandy 12 YO Brandy
99.7 P KWV Mentors Chardonnay
97.1 P KWV Mentors Shiraz
96.7 P KWV Mentors Semillon
95.9 P KWV Mentors Orchestra Cabernet Sauv Malbec Merlot Cab Franc Shiraz
94.8 GG KWV Mentors Canvas Shiraz Grenache Cinsault Tempranillo
94.5 GG KWV Mentors Sauvignon Blanc
94.3 GG KWV Mentors Pinotage
94.2 GG KWV Mentors Petit Verdot
93.3 GG KWV Mentors Grenache Blanc
93.2 GG KWV Mentors Chenin Blanc
96.3 P KWV Classic Collection Cape Tawny Port
94.5 GG KWV Vintage White Jerepigo
94.1 GG KWV Abraham Perold Tributum Cape Blend
100.0 P La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Viognier
97.4 P La Motte Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc
94.2 GG La Motte Shiraz
94.1 GG La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon
93.6 GG La Motte Chardonnay
93.3 GG La Motte Sparkling Wine Mèthode Cap Classique
98.5 P Laborie Wine Farm Alambic Brandy
93.6 GG Laborie Wine Farm Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine Mèthode Cap Classique Brut
97.4 P Le Riche Wines Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
93.3 GG Le Riche Wines Cabernet Sauvignon
94.3 GG Lomond Sugarbush Sauvignon Blanc
93.7 GG Lomond Cat’s Tail Syrah
93.3 GG Lomond Snowbush Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Nouvelle
93.3 GG Lomond Pincushion Sauvignon Blanc
98.9 P Mvemve Raats de Compostella Bordeaux Blend
95.3 P Mvemve Raats Gewürztraminer
93.2 GG Neethlingshof Estate Maria Weisser Riesling Noble Late Harvest
99.8 P Neethlingshof Estate Chardonnay
98.2 P Oak Valley Wines Pinot Noir
94.7 GG Oak Valley Wines Syrah
93.3 GG Oldenburg Vineyards Chenin Blanc
93.3 GG Oldenburg Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
95.9 P Oldenburg Vineyards 18 YO Sovereign Brandy
94.6 GG Oude Meester Brandy Reserve 12 YO Brandy
100.0 P Oude Meester Brandy Chardonnay
96.3 P Paul Cluver Estate Wines Riesling Noble Late Harvest
96.0 P Paul Cluver Estate Wines Sauvignon Blanc
95.8 P Paul Cluver Estate Wines Gewürztraminer
95.3 P Paul Cluver Estate Wines Riesling
95.3 P Paul Cluver Estate Wines Seven Flags Pinot Noir
93.1 GG Paul Cluver Estate Wines Pinot Noir
95.7 P Paul Cluver Estate Wines The Dry Land Collection Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc
95.3 P Perdeberg Winery SAAM Mountain Middelberg Chenin Blanc
93.6 GG Perdeberg Winery Chenin Blanc Reserve
93.0 GG Perdeberg Winery Rex Equus Cabernet Sauvignon
95.7 P Pongrảcz Desiderius Pinot Noir Chardonnay
93.1 GG Pongrảcz Rosé Sparkling Wine Mèthode Cap Classique
94.9 GG Raats Family Wines Original Chenin Blanc
93.5 GG Raats Family Wines Old Vine Chenin
93.4 GG Raats Family Wines Cab Franc
95.6 P Raka Biography Shiraz
100.0 P Rijks Private Cellar Pinotage
95.9 P Rijks Private Cellar Reserve Chenin Blanc
94.6 GG Rijks Private Cellar Shiraz
100.0 P Rustenberg Wines John X Merriman Cab Sauvignon Merlot Cab Franc
98.2 P Rustenberg Wines Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon
97.3 P Rustenberg Wines Five Soldiers Chardonnay
96.9 P Rustenberg Wines Stellenbosch Chardonnay
95.8 P Rustenberg Wines Buzzard Kloof Shiraz
93.3 GG Rustenberg Wines Straw Wine
100.0 P Saronsberg Full Circle Shiraz Mourvedre Viognier
100.0 P Saronsberg Shiraz
98.6 P Saronsberg Provenance Range Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Malbec Petit Verdot
96.4 P Saronsberg Provenance Range Shiraz
94.0 GG Saronsberg Viognier
93.2 GG Saronsberg Brut Sparkling Wine Mèthode Cap Classique
95.2 P Saxenburg Wine Farm Private Collection Cabernet Sauvignon
94.1 GG Saxenburg Wine Farm Private Collection Merlot
93.8 GG Saxenburg Wine Farm Limited Release Select Shiraz
93.0 GG Saxenburg Wine Farm Private Collection Shiraz
96.1 P Sijnn Red Blend Syrah Touriga Nacional Mourvedre Trincadeira Cabernet Sauv
95.1 P Sijnn White Malagas Chenin Blanc Viognier Roussanne
94.4 GG Sijnn Syrah Malgas
93.3 GG Sijnn Touriga Nacional
98.5 P Spier Creative Block 3 Selection Rhone Blend Shiraz Mourvedre Viognier
95.8 P Spier Creative Block 2 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon
95.1 P Spier 21 Gables Pinotage
95.0 GG Spier Private Collection Shiraz
94.6 GG Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc
94.6 GG Spier Private Collection Chardonnay
94.4 GG Spier Frans K Smit Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Shiraz
94.1 GG Spier Private Collection Chenin Blanc
93.6 GG Spier Private Collection Pinotage
99.1 P Stellenrust Chenin Blanc Barrel Fermented
94.3 GG Stellenzicht Vineyards Golden Triangle Shiraz
93.0 GG Stellenzicht Vineyards Golden Triangle Cabernet Sauvignon
97.9 P Sumaridge Wines Pinot Noir
95.1 P Sumaridge Wines Chardonnay
93.9 GG Sumaridge Wines Sauvignon Blanc
93.2 GG Sumaridge Wines Maritimus Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay Semillon
94.5 GG The High Road Directors Reserve Cabernet Merlot Cab Franc
93.3 GG The High Road Classique Cabernet Merlot Cab Franc
98.5 P Van Ryn’s Brandy 12 YO Distiller’s Reserve Brandy
98.3 P Van Ryn’s Brandy 15 YO Fine Cask Old Brandy
97.2 P Van Ryn’s Brandy 20 YO Collector’s Reserve Brandy
94.3 GG Van Ryn’s Brandy 10 Year Old Vintage Brandy
95.4 P Viljoensdrift Wines River Grandeur Pinotage
93.1 GG Viljoensdrift Wines River Grandeur Shiraz
95.7 P Villiera Wines Monro Sparkling Wine Mèthode Cap Classique Brut
95.5 P Villiera Wines Traditional Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc
94.6 GG Villiera Wines Monro Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc
94.0 GG Villiera Wines Chenin Blanc
93.5 GG Villiera Wines Traditional Bush Vine Sauvignon Blanc
100.0 P Wildekrans Wine Estate Pinotage Barrel Select Reserve
96.8 P Wildekrans Wine Estate Chenin Blanc Barrel Select
96.0 P Wildekrans Wine Estate Shiraz Barrel Select Reserve
95.4 P Wildekrans Wine Estate Cape Blend Barrel Select Reserve
94.9 GG Wildekrans Wine Estate Chenin Blanc Sparkling Wine Mèthode Cap Classique

The Grand Wines Collection

The South African Wine Index (SAWi) was established with the aim of setting a quality benchmark for South African Wines. The value of SAWi’s multi-year wine performance adjudication process has earned it official recognition as a definitive measure of a given wine’s quality, irrespective of vintage.

Until the introduction of the Index, the quality adjudication of wine depended on annual events, which by their nature present the once-off and subjective opinions of the adjudicators. This not only makes it difficult to track a wine’s performance over time but, more importantly, it prevents meaningful empirical deductions from being made.

SAWi is proud to present the South African ‘Grand Wines Collection’. The GWC represents a little less than 500 of the 6000 South African wines currently available that have consistently achieved the highest acknowledgement from various wine judging panels and respected wine commentators, all over the world. Each ranked wine in the list below has scored a minimum of 93 Index points. As a collective, the GWC sets a unique benchmark for South African wine quality.

See the Grand Wines Collection here.

All SAWi scores and the NWN ranking are determined using SAWi’s unique ‘Algorithm of Excellence’ (AOE). While the utmost care is taken in the preparation of these scores, errors and omissions are possible. Producers are encouraged to inform SAWi of competition and other results at year end.

Competition Matters | Faster than Usain Bolt

My 8-year-old son is convinced that his best friend’s older brother is the second fastest man alive, after Usain Bolt. That said brother is 12, and runs a 100-metre sprint in just about enough time to allow Bolt to win his race, sign autographs and complete a press conference, is beside the point; to one adoring fan it’s only a matter of time before I hear the words “He’s faster than Usain Bolt!” and there’s a new champion atop the winner’s podium.

Until then, Usain Bolt has proved that he’s worthy of his place as the top-ranked 100-metre sprinter in the world – that despite recording only the 8th fastest time this year (tied with South African, Wayde van Niekerk, 2 places below another South African, Akani Simbine), and with everything to prove at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

“But we don’t do competitions,” was a common cry some years ago, when I asked a handful of producers about their international status – partly for some background work I was doing for an article in a local publication, and partly to interrogate the validity of the SA Wine Index, to which I had just been introduced.

The truth is every producer that puts a bottle on the table – whether mine or anyone else’s – is “doing competition”. Should the wine not be as good as that of ‘the competition’, the second bottle on the table will bear a different producer’s mark.

With social media being what it is, and the ready access we have to many sources of commentary about practically every wine sold and consumed at present (with ratings from stars to thumbs to glasses, or points out of 5 or 20 or 100) no-one can claim that they are above, or outside of, the competition circuit. They may not compete formally; but compete they do.

The SA Wine Index is unique in that it considers the multi-vintage performance of every South African wine across more than 100 national and international competitions, ratings, listings and reviews. The majority of these are listed on the website, and any new and noteworthy platform that serves to make a statement about a wine’s performance or value is considered by the Index.

The Index aggregates the wine’s various multi-vintage performances, using a complex but not complicated algorithm that weights the various competitions and rewards best in class performances as well as consistency over a rolling 10-year window. The result is a single point score that definitively separates the athletes from the older brothers, and which provides a reliable measure of the true class of the wine.

And while The Olympic Games stands ahead of other competitions when it comes to any self-respecting athlete proving his or her worth, it’s not the only measure. Rather, while coveting an Olympic medal, athletes look to the IAAF rankings to properly indicate where they stand. In the same way, the SA Wine Index leads the wine world in its ability to definitively identify South Africa’s finest wines.

The 2016 SAWi Awards take place on 18 June 2016, when the South African Wine Index celebrates the exceptional performances of the county’s finest wines, and releases the South African ‘Grand Wines Collection’ ranking of South Africa’s top performing wines

@SAWineIndex | 2016 SAWi Wine Excellence Awards | 18 June 2016 | Grootbos Private Nature Reserve | @Grootbos