SA’s top 10 pinotages announced!

The top 10 pinotage producers!

What would Brand South Africa be without Brand Pinotage? And if this truly unique South African varietal is made to the highest standards, it takes some beating!

The Pinotage Association has just announced the winners of the 2017 ABSA Top 10 Pinotage  competition. Here they are, in no particular order:

Delheim Pinotage 2012 - WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Altus Treurnicht
Diemersfontein Carpe Diem Reserve 2015- WO Wellington, Winemaker Francoise Roode

Flagstone Writer’s Block Single Vineyard Pinotage 2015 -WO Breedekloof, Winemaker Gerhard Swart

Kanonkop Pinotage 2012 - WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Winemaker Abrie Beeslaar

Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage 2014 -WO Jonkershoek Valley in Stellenbosch, Winemaker Wynand Lategan

Môreson MKM 2015 -Franschhoek cellar, WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Clayton Reabow

Neil Ellis Bottelary Hills Pinotage 2015 -WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Warren Ellis

Stellenbosch Vineyards Bushvine Pinotage 2015 - WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Abraham de Villiers

La Cave Pinotage 2016 - Wellington Wines, Winemakers Francois van Niekerk & Chris Smit

Windmeul Pinotage Reserve 2015 - WO Paarl/Coastal, Winemaker Abraham van Heerden

For the first time in the history of the competition, this year producers were invited to also submit entries in a Museum Class specifically for pinotage wines 10 years and older. As expected, these wines proved how top quality pinotage fulfils the promise of great maturation potential, with a trophy presented for the top example on the tasting bench.

The first winner in this category is the Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Jonkershoek Pinotage 2007, with the Neethlingshof Pinotage 1999, Rijk’s Reserve Pinotage 2007 and Lanzerac Pinotage 1992 runners-up.


CAPTION: The winner and runner-ups in the Museum Class. Classy, very classy!

Beyers Truter, chairman of the Pinotage Association, was overwhelmed by the expansion of the market for this varietal and for the passion with which winemakers have embraced this variety over the past two decades. “Our 21-year journey with ABSA has been full of many highlights and it is pleasing to see how the bar continues to be raised year after year. One of the objectives in creating the ABSA Top 10 Pinotage competition was to improve the quality and perceptions of this lovely, uniquely South African wine, and looking at the standard of the finalists this year as well as the degree to which pinotage has been embraced, we are definitely on the right track.”

Truter emphasised just how much the quality of pinotage wines had increased, particularly during the past decade. He applauded the producers of all the wines included among the finalists for their exceptional commitment and hard work. “Pinotage is a grape that needs special viticultural and winemaking techniques. It can be tough and demanding, but when you get it right, the rewards are astonishing, world-class masterpieces.”

There were 147 entries in the 2017 ABSA Top 10 Pinotage competition, and with around 50% of the 21 finalists from Stellenbosch wineries, it was no surprise that 5 of the eventual winners are from cellars in this district.

The other finalists were:

Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve 2015 – WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Anri Truter

Bon Courage Pinotage 2015 – WO Robertson, Winemakers Jacques Bruwer & Philip Viljoen

Delheim Vera Cruz Pinotage 2014 – WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Winemaker Altus Treurnicht

Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage 2015 – WO Jonkershoek Valley in Stellenbosch, Winemaker Wynand Lategan

Marianne Pinotage 2015 – WO Simonsberg-Paarl, Winemaker Jos van Wyk

Môreson The Widowmaker Pinotage 2015 – Franschhoek Cellar, WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Clayton Reabow

Neethlingshof The Short Story Collection The Owl Post Pinotage 2015 – WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker De Wet Viljoen

Neil Ellis Pinotage 2015 – WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Warren Ellis

Rickety Bridge Pinotage 2015 – Franschhoek Cellar, WO Coastal, Winemaker Wynand Grobler

La Cave Pinotage 2015 – Wellington Wines, Winemakers Francois van Niekerk & Chris Smit

Windmeul Pinotage 2015 – WO Paarl/Coastal, Winemaker Abraham van Heerden

For more information, contact the Pinotage Association at marketing@pinotage.co.za or visit www.pinotage.co.za.

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