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Top 100 SA Wines 2015 winners Announced
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The major fine-wine only event in SA launches the 2015 Top 100 SA winning wines results.

The much anticipated winning wines were announced on the 15th April. Top wineries, their wine makers and partners celebrated with style. A jazz band, canapés and a superb array of top wines framed the awards certification ceremony. The celebratory mood ratcheted up a level when all 100 winning wines were unveiled and then tasted by invitees.

Strong entries of 500 of SA’s top wines were entered from a record 140 wineries.

White wines enjoyed a total listing of thirty eight victories with the ‘other white cultivars leading the field, of which four were Semillons. Chenin Blanc gained a total of seven wins. Chardonnay dropped to four winners down from eight in 2014 tying with four white Bordeaux blends and four ‘unusual’ category white blends. Sauvignon Blanc showed poor form with only two winning slots. Generally the 2014 vintage was not viewed at all favourably for this category.

Red wines enjoyed fifty two podium slots with Shiraz leading the pack with a most credible fifteen victories. Bordeaux blends followed with eight wins and Cabernet was close behind with seven victories. Pinot Noir pipped both Merlot and Pinotage, who each won three positions, with a credible four gongs per category.

Methode Cap Classique wines gained three winners, down from six in 2014. Four Natural Sweet wines cracked the judges nods, followed by two Fortified and two Port style wines.

Robin von Holdt shares his review thoughts on the 2015 Challenge: ‘We are thrilled with the continued and growing support given to Top 100 by so many of SA’s leading vineyards. The 2015 Challenge now in its fifth year continues to capture vineyard, industry and most importantly, consumer interest. The quality of judges, the protocols and the brand continue to influence positively. The APP, now showcasing SA’s fine wines in over 30 countries, is both powerful and unique. We will continue with integrity and purpose to shine the light on and promote SA’s finest. Our thanks go to all supporters and our congratulations of course go to all 2015 winners.’

The following Vineyards were major winners in the 2015 Top 100 Challenge:
- Fairview (6)
- Graham Beck (6)
- Simonsig Estate (5)
- Cederberg Private Cellars (4)
- Creation Wines (4)
- Jordan Wine Estate (4)
- Ormonde (4)
- Paul Cluver Wines (4)
- Saronsberg Cellars (4)
- Spier wines (4)

Bellingham Wines, Groot Constantia, Rustenberg Wines and Oldenberg Vineyards also achieved notable successes, with each delivering three wines onto this year’s winners podium.

Fairview owner Charles Back was pleased to share his view (6 + 1 win): ‘I am very proud of my Fairview and Spice Route team for having achieved a total of seven winning wines. Their versatility is demonstrated by the range which includes a straw wine Petit Syrah, our single vineyard shiraz’s - Beacon and Eenzaamheid, a Fairview Shiraz, a Pinotage as well as a Swartland blend. Consistency is the name of the game. As a team we are committed to become the number one producer of exciting wines.’

Pieter Ferreira of top rated Graham Beck Wines quotes (6 wins): ‘The Graham Beck Wines team is thrilled to be selected as such a significant part of this year’s Top 100, particularly in the light of us celebrating our silver jubilee this year. We are extremely proud that our wines did so well in this year’s Top 100 Challenge. There was once again an exceptionally competitive level of fine wines entered and Graham Beck Wines is happy to be recognised with 6 wines of its wines taking podium positions.’ Erika Obermeyer, Stellenbosch Cellar Master adds: ‘We are grateful for the Top 100 2015 Challenge recognition. The two adages: ‘Great wine is made in the vineyard’, and ‘focus on getting the basics right the first time’ are what guide us in our quest to craft highly individual wines of exceptional quality and universal appeal. This approach signifies the golden thread which is indelibly woven through our winemaking journey and continues to pay off. I salute my team for their passion, hard work and dedication.’

Johan Malan the Chief Wine Maker from Stellenbosch stalwart, Simonsig Estate, notes (6 wins): ‘We are in tenth heaven with the Top 100 result. One never knows what to expect, so we keep our expectations in check. To achieve a Top 100 selection with all four of the Malan Family Selection red wines is a wonderful reward for all the hard work and attention to detail of the whole team. It is all about teamwork and our team works like a family. I’m also ecstatic because the Simonsig Chardonnay 2013 delivered on the promise it has shown all along. Consistently achieving Top 100 selections by the esteemed international palates of the Top 100 panel is what spurs us on to make even better wines in the future. It is above all the quality of our soils and terroir at Simonsig Estate that makes it possible to make quality wines over an extended period.’

David Nieuwoudt from legendary Cederberg Private Cellar expands (4 wins): ‘The team are truly delighted about having four winning wines in the 2015 Challenge. The combination of a brilliant team and unique terroir supporting long hang times, coupled with the on-going fine-tuning of our proven approach to low intervention wine making, yield results we are immeasurably proud about. With a total of 21 wines on the podium from 2011 to 2015, taking us once again to overall Vineyard Consistency Award winner, is deeply ingratiating as well as humbling. We will maintain our relentless yet vigorous pursuit to produce the greatest fruit and make the greatest wines possible.’

Paul Cluver, MD of top rated Paul Cluver Vineyards offers (4 wins): ‘The South African Wine industry has so many amazing wine producers who are getting better and better all the time. To be recognized amongst the top producers is truly humbling’.

Creation Wines Carolyn and JC share their delight (4 wins): ‘Pinot Noir is part of our DNA and having that background means that we take similar care producing all our other red wines. Virus free vineyards combined with cool climate and 450 million year old un-spoilt soils give us the quality of grapes to craft fine wines. Continuous innovation starting with our cultivar selection thorough to the work we do in the vineyards and the cellar means that we are on a mission to improve all the time. It’s rewarding to have such good feedback from an accomplished panel of judges. Thank you for this opportunity!’

Gary Jordan from iconic Jordan Wine Estate adds (4 wins): ‘Being in control of our own vineyards ensures that Jordan Wine Estate consistently producers some of the best wines of South Africa. This is a result of a strong vineyard and cellar teams. Older vines and the right terroir give us the ultimate Synergy between Soil and Soul.’

Dewaldt Heyns from top notch Saronsberg was equally enthusiastic (4 wins): ‘Saronsberg is delighted to be part of the Top 100 competition who tirelessly promote South Africa’s best, not just locally but also on the international stage. Using MW’s as judges coupled with strict judging criteria ensures credible results and we are excited with our wine’s consistent performance through the years. This is a true feather in the cap of all of our employees who have worked so hard this past 12 years, establishing Saronsberg as one of SA’s finest.’

Consistency is the key underpinning factor for all fine wines anywhere in the world.

These are recognised again this year, going back all the way to 2011. First place for the overall winning wine is again Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2012. This is the only wine to win podium positions in each of the five Top 100 SA Wine Challenges! Certainly well-earned and well-deserved recognition for this icon wine from Stellenbosch.

The Le Riche family were thrilled to quote: ‘We focus on the production of top Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stellenbosch region. A traditionally simplistic, yet innovative winemaking approach is combined with the continuous pursuit of quality, elegance and consistency. It is a great honour to receive the consistency award for a second year running. It is fantastic to receive such recognition from an outstanding panel of wine judges.’

‘Top 5’ rankings for the total number of winning Top 100 status wines, over the five year period from 2011 – 2015 were earned by the following vineyards:

- Cederberg Private Cellars (21 wins)
- Saronsberg (18 wins)
- Paul Cluver Vineyards (17 wins)
- Simonsig Estate (17 wins)
- Fairview (14 wins)
- Jordan Wine Estate (14 wins).

Tim Atkin MW judging chairman concludes: ‘Top 100 celebrates its fifth birthday this year and I’m proud to have been involved with the competition from the start. The fact that many of my fellow judges are also serial offenders speaks volumes for the professionalism of the event and the strong team spirit it inspires. It goes without saying that all the wines in Top 100 are tasted blind. This means that I have no idea which wineries entered, or whose wines were selected. I can’t talk specifics, but I can tell you which categories showed strongly. White blends, ‘alternative’ whites and reds (including the likes of Roussanne, Gewürztraminer, Touriga Nacional and Petite Syrah) and Chenin Blanc were highlights this year, as were the red blends, both Bordeaux and Mediterranean style, and the Syrah’s.’

Top 100 SA Wines is recognised as the leading SA fine wine brand in SA and abroad. It enjoys massive Google ratings. Its APP is the most internationally active device on fine SA wine now used in 30 countries. It has front page ranking in all key searches as well as enjoying a fast-track international digital footprint. This is tremendously useful for winning vineyards, helping them to win a larger and growing share of both sales and of brand awareness, in the competitive global arena.

For a full list of winning wines please click HERE.

For further information please contact

Tel: +27.283410676   Fax: +27.866065462   Email:  
P.O. Box 124 , Caledon, 7230, South Africa