This year it showcased Pinotage masters who have in the past twelve years proved their expertise with many Top 10 winners, with some making a glorious return.
2008 Absa Top 10 Pinotage wines (in alphabetical order): Anura Pinotage 2007, Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2006, Beyerskloof Reserve Pinotage 2006, Cloof Pinotage 2005, DeWaal Top of the Hill Pinotage 2006, Fairview Primo Pinotage 2007, Rijk's Private Cellar Pinotage 2004, Simonsig Red Hill Pinotage 2006, Stellenzicht Cellarmaster's Release Pinotage 2005 and Tukulu Pinotage 2006.
After an absence of five years in the Absa Top 10, Beyerskloof near Stellenbosch this year made history by being the first ever to enter two of the Top 10 winners, the Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2006 and Beyerskloof Reserve Pinotage 2006. The two wines are the third and fourth winning wines under the Beyerskloof label since the competition was started. Co-owner and cellar master Beyers Truter with this achievement produced his ninth Top 10 wine.
Guy Webber of Stellenzicht in Stellenbosch continues to be in the Pinotage limelight. He entered Stellenzicht's fifth Top 10 wine in six years, the Stellenzicht Cellarmaster’s Release Pinotage 2005. This is the fourth consecutive winning entry from Stellenzicht. It is Guy Webber's sixth Top 10 wine.
Daniël de Waal of Uiterwyk Estate in Stellenbosch entered his sixth Absa Top 10 Pinotage winner after an absence of four years, with the DeWaal Top of the Hill Pinotage 2006. The De Waal family of Uiterwyk Estate previously entered five winning wines in six years, from 1998 to 2003.
Tukulu in Darling, the flagship black empowerment brand in the Distell stable, with winemaker Samuel Viljoen, this year entered their fifth Top 10 wine in nine years, with the Tukulu Pinotage 2006. The co-owners are Maluti Groenekloof Community Trust, Leopont 98 Properties and Distell.
Simonsig Estate in Stellenbosch, with winemakers Johan Malan and Debbie Thompson, this year entered their second consecutive winning wine with the Simonsig Red Hill Pinotage 2006. It is their fourth winning wine in eight years. Pierre Wahl of Rijk’s Private Cellar in Tulbagh returned to the Top 10 this year after an absence of three years, with the Rijk’s Private Cellar Pinotage 2004. It is also their fourth winning wine in eight years.
The first time winners who share the limelight with the renowned Pinotage masters are Anura Pinotage 2007 from the Simonsberg/Paarl ward, with winemakers Carla Pauw and Johnnie Calitz, Cloof Pinotage 2005 from Darling with winemaker Christopher van Dieren, and Fairview Primo Pinotage 2007, a wine of origin Coastal region, with winemaker Anthony de Jager.
Presentation packages of the 2008 Absa Top 10 Pinotage wines will soon be available for sale at the Wine-of-the-Month-Club. Tel. 021-6578100. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Pinotage and the South African Pinotage Association, visit the website www.pinotage.co.za.
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