A dozen remarkable Shiraz wines and three impressive Shiraz blends captured the limelight during the fifth annual Shiraz Challenge awards ceremony held on 31 May at the Rhebokskloof Wine Estate in Paarl.
Words by Greg Landman
According to SA Shiraz chairperson Edmund Terblanche, some 220 wines vied for inclusion in the top echelon – a steady climb of entries since the inception of the competition in 2013. “Initially we focused only on Shiraz, but soon after we invited winemakers to put forward their best blends as we see this competition as an encompassing celebration of Shiraz,” he says. “We’ve witnessed consistent growth in the blends category – not only for the Rhône style, but for all compositions where Shiraz remains the leading component.”
And 2017’s top Shiraz wines are: vintage
Cederberg Shiraz 2015
D’Aria The Soprano Shiraz 2015
Eagle’s Nest Shiraz 2014
Fairview Beacon Shiraz 2014
Fairview Swartland Shiraz 2014
Flagstone Dark Horse Shiraz 2013
KWV Cathedral Cellar Shiraz 2015
La Motte Pierneef Syrah Viognier 2015
Rustenberg Buzzard Kloof Syrah 2015
Saronsberg Shiraz 2015
Strandveld Syrah 2013
Wildekrans Barrel Select Reserve Shiraz 2015
Top 3 Shiraz blends:
Bellingham The Bernard Series SMV 2014
Rustenberg Stellenbosch RM Nicholson 2015
Saronsberg Full Circle 2015
Eight esteemed judges took responsibility for the stringent adjudication process, with Dr Andy Roediger at the helm.
The rest of the judging line-up included Charles Hopkins (De Grendel cellar master), Cathy van Zyl (British Master of Wine), Pearl Oliver (head sommelier at the Taj Hotel in Cape Town), Edmund Terblanche (La Motte cellar master and Shiraz SA chairperson), Samarie Smit (wine writer and editor of Die Burger: Versnit and regular judge at Veritas and the SA Young Wine Show) and Maryna Huysamen (Cape Wine Makers Guild protégé)
As the wine writer for Country Life magazine for the last 15 years, Greg has met and interviewed more than 150 of the country’s top wine makers. His articles offer unique insights into where to eat, what to drink, and where to go all over the Western Cape. With his dining companion Beryl Ormsby Browne, he has also reviewed more than 60 country restaurants for the magazine and has been a reviewer for the prestigious Eat Out Guide for 12 years. His passion for everything the winelands has to offer has led him into the world of wine tours. To find out more, visit his website Magic Grape Tours.