Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2019 Results
published on:

The results of the 2019 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show were announced at a luncheon at the Mount Nelson Hotel on 4 June. Of the 956 wines judged from 206 producers, 32 gold medals were awarded. All Best-in-Class gold medallists emerged as trophy winners. In the end, 24 trophies, including the coveted Most Successful Producer of the Show, were presented at the function.

The results of the annual Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show effectively showcase the ever-changing landscape of Cape wine. Since the competition's inception in 2002 most of the country's leading producers have been on the winner's podium. The Old Mutual trophy for the show's best producer has been won by major wholesalers and by specialist boutique-size cellars. Some of these laureates were almost unknown outside a small circle of insiders when they first received the award but have since become household names with reputations which extend well beyond the domestic market. This is as it should be: the purpose of a blind tasting competition is to make discoveries, to discern value and to light a path for consumers and for the trade, to separate actual quality from the sales message of market-savvy producers.

The 2019 results maintain the show's tradition and reinforced its talent-scouting reputation. While more than half of the trophy winners had previously taken home an award for a best-in-class wine, a significant number of newcomers stepped into the limelight for the first time. The top producer for 2019 - Painted Wolf Wines - had previously won a trophy (in 2012) and a gold medal (in 2017), its success this year took the industry by storm. Winning the trophy in both the niche red and niche white categories gave Painted Wolf an unassailable lead in the race for top producer status. In number two slot was Dawid Nieuwoudt from Cederberg followed by Gary Jordan from Jordan Wine Estate (both multiple past trophy winners). Several winners of the Show's best producer award were 2019 trophy winners, including Cape Point Vineyards, Nederburg, KWV, Rustenberg and Delaire Graff. Overall the show highlighted a better balanced distribution across both red and white wine categories, with a sprinkling of gold medallists covering almost all of the major classes. The drought years have taken their toll on the quality of the younger wines, and also on the number of wines making it through to the very highest medal categories. On the other hand, the silver medal classes were replete with fabulous wines, thoughtfully composed to make the most of fruit quality despite difficult vintage conditions. “The time has come,” said Show Chairman Michael Fridjhon, “to recognise that silver medallists at the OMTWS are comfortably gold medal wines in any other competition anywhere in the world.”

The top red wine of the show was the 2017 Kruger Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Stellenview Premium Wines - a first time winner at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show. The 2019 winner of the Nestlé Pure Life Trophy for the show's best Sauvignon Blanc was Cederberg - for the 2018 Ghost Corner Sauvignon Blanc. Cederberg is no stranger to the trophy podium: the Sauvignon Blanc won the same award in 2010 and 2013 for the 2009 and 2012 vintages respectively. Overhex Wines’ Survivor Pinotage Reserve 2017 won the Pinotage trophy – a first trophy wine for the producer. Last year the 2017 Survivor Sauvignon Blanc won gold. The sparkling wine category - which has been showing increased strength and depth of talent over the past few years - enjoyed a sumptuous result in 2019, yielding not one but two trophy winners: the 2014 JC Le Roux Scintilla Méthode Cap Classique Vintage Reserve for best sparkling wine, while the Desiderius Pongrácz Méthode Cap Classique 2011 won the museum class trophy.

Other highlights include the return - after 2 years - to the winner’s podium of the De Krans Tritonia, a Portuguese-style blend produced by the multiple trophy-winning Calitzdorp port producer. The appearance of one of the country’s legendary wines from antiquity - the KWV Ruby Port 1949 (as the museum class port trophy winner) - was no surprise, though its youthful intensity and indisputable quality served to remind the judges that the old-timers were world class producers of fortified wines. Semillon was also among the top achievers: first-time entrant Wildeberg won the best Semillon trophy with the 2018 Wildeberg White; and KWV won the best museum class Semillon trophy with The Mentors Semillon 2012. “We are proud once again of our role as title sponsor of this prestigious and empowering annual wine competition, the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show,” says Thobile Tshabalala, Head of Brand at Old Mutual. “It’s wonderful to know that our support over the years has helped to inspire, motivate and coach our country’s gifted winemakers, and raise the profile of our fine wines as well as boost the international reputation of our country with investors and consumers alike. The secret of the success of the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show is that from its start it has celebrated not just great talent and creativity, but an absolute commitment to excellence.”

Partners American Express, Grande Roche Hotel, Nestlé Pure Life, Miele, Riedel and nationwide retailer Makro each have naming rights to a trophy. Other named awards include the Chenin Blanc trophy - named after the late Harold Eedes, who, as publisher of Wine Magazine in the 1990s, played a key role in South Africa's Chenin Blanc renaissance. In 2012 the Trophy for Best Cape Port was named after the late Tony Mossop CWM. Shiraz was the largest class with 103 submissions. Sauvignon Blanc (86) and Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay each with 84 entries, led the white wine charge. The Cabernet Sauvignon class numbered 83, followed closely by Bordeaux Blends at 76. Pinotage was up again from 50 last year to 54, and Merlot consistent with 2018, at 44. The newly established Rhône blend class attracted 25 submissions. A countrywide roadshow will follow almost immediately after the results are announced. The Johannesburg Public Tasting takes place on Wednesday 12 June at the Sandton Convention Centre and the Cape Town Public Tasting is on Thursday 20 June at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. No fewer than 173 trophy, gold and silver medal-winning wines will be presented for tasting, almost all of them available for purchase via Makro’s on-site pop-up stand, stores and their online portal. Tickets are available via www.webtickets.co.za and cost between R180 and R200.

Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2019

All the Trophy Winners

Old Mutual Trophy for Most Successful Producer Overall

Painted Wolf Wines

Harold Eedes Trophy for Best Chenin Blanc, Old Mutual International Judges’ Trophy and Old Mutual Trophy for Best White Wine Overall

Mulderbosch Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc Block A 2017

American Express Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon and Old Mutual Trophy for Best Red Wine Overall

Kruger Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Old Mutual Trophy for Discovery of the Show / Best Value Gold Medallist

Bonnievale Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Grand Roche Trophy for Best White Blend

Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh 2017

Old Mutual Trophy for Best Sparkling Wine

JC Le Roux Scintilla Méthode Cap Classique Vintage Reserve 2014

Riedel Trophy for Best Bordeaux-Style Red Blend

Leopard's Leap Culinaria Collection Grand Vin 2017

Miele Trophy for Best Chardonnay

Jordan Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2018

Tony Mossop Trophy for Best Cape Port

Delaire Graff Cape Vintage 2017

Makro Trophy for Best Shiraz

Rustenberg Buzzard Kloof Syrah 2017

Nestlé Pure Life Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc

Ghost Corner Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Old Mutual Trophy for Best Dessert Wine (Unfortified)

Nederburg The Winemasters Noble Late Harvest 2018

Trophy for Best Pinotage

Survivor Pinotage Reserve 2017

Trophy for Best Red Blend

De Krans Tritonia Calitzdorp Blend 2016

Trophy for Best Niche White Variety

Painted Wolf Roussanne 2018

Trophy for Best Niche Red Variety

Painted Wolf Black Pack Mourvèdre 2017

Trophy for Best Semillon

Wildeberg White 2018

Trophy for Best Museum Class Fortified Wine

KWV Ruby Port 1949

Trophy for Best Museum Class Sparkling Wine

Desiderius Pongrácz Méthode Cap Classique 2011

Trophy for Best Museum Class Sauvignon Blanc

D'Aria The Songbird Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Trophy for Best Museum Class Semillon

KWV The Mentors Semillon 2012

Also Gold Medal Winners

Bonnievale Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2009 (Museum Class)

Eikendal Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Glen Carlou Syrah 2017

Hidden Gems 2016

KWV The Mentors Semillon 2015 Darling (Museum Class)

Neethlingshof The Short Story Collection Maria Noble Late Harvest 2017

Neil Ellis Amica 2017

Peter Falke Méthode Cap Classique 2013 (Boutique Class)

Spier Creative Block 2 2018

Villion Henning Chenin Blanc 2017

Warwick Professor Black 2018

Zandvliet Kalkveld Shiraz 2015

The 2019 Judges

Now in its 18th year, the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show enjoys an unparalleled reputation for identifying the very best Cape wines, recognising the achievements of the country's winemakers, and honouring excellence in the wine industry. The competition was described by Jancis Robinson MW OBE (Judge in 2003 and 2007) as possibly the toughest of its
kind in the world. Kirk Bauer (this year’s international judge from Germany) commented: “With the composition of the jury - a combination of winemakers, sommeliers, distributors and international judges - it is a perfect set-up for the competition to deliver reliable results and reliable recommendations to the consumers. The Trophy judging process is
very precise and very democratic.” The judging panel is chaired by wine authority Michael Fridjhon.

The three international judges this year include Kirk Bauer, founder of Mundus Vini, the largest European wine competition, panel chair for the International Wine Challenge, the International Wine and Spirits Competition, and the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. He joins Simon Field MW, until recently Berry Bros & Rudd buyer responsible for French and Spanish wine regions, and Benjamin Roffet, who has the unique distinction of winning on consecutive years the two most prestigious titles in French sommellerie - the Best Sommelier in France 2010 and the Meilleur Ouvrier de France Sommellerie in 2011. The three international judges will form part of a star-studded and hugely experienced group whose local members include Christian Eedes, editor of winemag.co.za, panel chair of innumerable category judgings and visiting panellist for competitions in Europe and Australia, Patson Mathonsi, sommelier and wine judge, now working as a Brand Ambassador at Asara, and Narina Cloete, winemaker at Blaauwklippen and long-serving Trophy Wine Show judge, as well as panellist at the Zarcillo International Wine Competition in Spain.

Other senior panellists include Francois Rautenbach, who directs the Singita fine wine programme and has been a judge at the OMTWS for several years, JD Pretorius, formerly chief winemaker at Steenberg and now cellarmaster at Warwick, and Alexandra McFarlane, winemaker, viticulturist and Trophy wine Show judge in 2018. The show's associate judges include Murray Barlow, cellarmaster at Rustenberg, Ndaba Dube, F&B manager at the Blaauwberg Beach Hotel, Spencer Fondaumiere from Warwick Wines and panellist at several wine competitions, Gynore Fredericks, who is completing her internship at Mullineux & Leeu, Tinashe Nyamudoka, head sommelier at the Test Kitchen in Cape Town and Johannesburg-based Debi van Flymen CWM, wine distributor and British Master of Wine student. They participated in the tasting and the post-judging discussion, though their scores were not necessarily taken into account in the final tally. Their involvement provides an essential training platform for the country’s wine judges of the future.

See more pics of the awards event HERE


Buy Our Wine
Tel: +27.218870649   Fax: +27.218870647   Email: info@neilellis.com  
R310 Helshoogte Road, Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa