This year marks the second annual Perold Absa Cape Blend Competition, run by the Pinotage Association and open to wines containing a minimum of 30% Pinotage.
A total of 42 wines from 33 producers were entered in the competition, from which the judges selected five finalists.
And, the top three winners of the 2012 Perold Absa Cape Blend Competition are (in alphabetical order) Beyerskloof Faith 2009, KWV Perold Tributum 2010 and the Windmeul Reserve Cape Blend 2010. The winemakers of each of the three winners have won a trip to an overseas wine region.
The two runners-up out of the five finalists were the Grangehurst Nikela 2005 and Lyngrove Platinum Latitude 2011. In all five blends, Pinotage and Cabernet make up more than 60% of the wine. According to Charles Hopkins, chairman of the panel of five judges, last year’s finalists each had a strong dose of Shiraz in the blend, while this year it was Cabernet Sauvignon that served as the ideal counterpoint for Pinotage.
The "true Pinotage red wine blend":
“We have noticed there are cellars which want to make the Cape Blend their flagship and are still doing intensive testing to reach the finishing line. Pinotage blends well with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This year’s outstanding wines place emphasis on the structure and fuller body that Cabernet Sauvignon with Pinotage provides. Going forward, I think we can expect an interesting growth in the true Pinotage red wine blend, and the winemakers playing around with Pinotage and other cultivars are going to deliver many taste experiences,” Charles said.
Brienne van der Walt, Managing Executive: Absa AgriBusiness says; “Following the successful inaugural Perold ABSA Cape Blend competition last year, Absa has again this year supported the wine industry through the Pinotage Association to help promote the increase in standards of good quality blended wines from the Cape.
The growing competition:
“Absa’s wish is for the competition to grow further and to continue raising interest not only among winemakers but also with wine lovers about a good red blend that is distinctively South African and has plenty of character, balance, good ageing potential, and appeals to a wide audience.” He adds.
The presentation function was held at KWV’s head office in Paarl, in honour of Dr Abraham Perold, who for many years was involved at the company. Dr. Perold created South Africa’s indigenous Pinotage, when he crossed Hermitage (Cinsaut) and Pinot Noir grapes in 1925.