According to Beyers Truter, chairman of the SA Pinotage Association who arranged the fourth Perold Cape Blend Competition with Absa, the results showed that Bordeaux grape varieties such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as the Rhône grapes Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre were ideal instruments with which to create blended Pinotage wines of character and stylistic expression.
This year’s five winners of the Perold Absa Cape Blend Wine Competition were: Blake’s Amethyst 2011 (Blake’s Family Wines), Clos Malverne Spirit of Malverne Limited Release 2012 (Clos Malverne), Kaapzicht Steytler Vision Cape Blend 2010 (Kaapzicht) Painted Wolf Peloton Rouge 2009 (Painted Wolf Wines) and Rhebokskloof The Rhebok Cape Blend Limited Edition 2012 (Rhebokskloof.)
According to the rules of the competition, at least 30% of the final blend – but not more than 70% - has to be Pinotage. This year’s competition attracted 41 entries from 33 producers.
“The exciting thing about the Cape Blend wine category - besides it being uniquely South African - is the diversity if offers,” says Truter. “Apart from the borders drawn by the prescribed Pinotage component, the winemaker basically has a clean slate with which to work, causing a category that is as diverse as it is innovative. Some wines use Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon for a more traditional, Old World Pinotage complement, while the Rhône varieties bring a New World juicy plushness. You must just know, if you do not find a Cape Blend that fits your palate, you are probably not a red wine drinker!”
According to Craig Bond, Chief Executive of Business and Retail Banking at Barclays Africa, Pinotage and the Cape Blend category of wines are truly unique jewels in the crown that is the South African wine industry. “This partnership reflects our long-standing commitment not only to the Pinotage Association but to the South African wine industry as a whole. Our corporate philosophy is strongly centred around ideas, innovation and creativity, and the Cape Blend winemakers reflect these values with their dynamic and passionate search for wines that have an own identity, are creatively put together and reflect the excellence of Brand South Africa, of which we as a bank are proud to be a part of.
“Our continued involvement with this competition is inspired by our confidence in the new generation of South African winemakers who are working hard to increase the prestige and sophistication of wines produced in South Africa.”
The five winning Cape Blends and their components are:
Blake’s Amethyst (Shiraz, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon)
Clos Malverne Spirit of Malverne (Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz)
Kaapzicht Steytler Vision (Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Merlot)
Painted Wolf Peloton Rouge (Pinotage, Shiraz, Merlot, Grenache, Mourvèdre)
Rhebokskloof The Rhebok Cape Blend (Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Pinotage)
The five other finalists in this year’s Perold Absa Cape Blend Competition were:
Bottega Family Wines Idiom C 2010, KWV Abraham Perold Tributum 2012, Spier Wines Creative Block 8 2012, Wildekrans Cape Blend Barrel Select Reserve 2012 and Windmeul Cape Blend Reserve 2013.
This year’s judges were: Pierre Wahl (chairman), Neil Ellis, Frans Smit, James Pietersen and Christine Rudman