|One of THE top events in the Cape wine calendar has always been the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge. This famous Portuguese cork producer puts its money where its mouth is and supports this very important challenge at a much anticipated media event. This year there was a thing lingering which made that impossible but the Challenge went on nevertheless. In a real turn up for the books Plettenberg Bay winery Newstead Wines became the first producer outside the traditional Western Cape winelands to be crowned overall winner of the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge. In a ground-breaking announcement, Newstead MCC Blanc de Blancs 2015 not only took a Double Gold Medal and the Trophy for Best Blanc de Blancs, but was also named the Top Scoring Cap Classique at this year’s Amorim Challenge.
Newstead Wines, one of the pioneers of the Plettenberg Bay winelands on the Cape South Coast some 520km east of Cape Town, was founded by Doug and Sue Lund in 2006, with their first wines being made in 2012. Although Newstead’s Cap Classiques have won various accolades in the past, this is the first time the winery has featured at the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge. The award for this year’s overall winner, given to the wine that achieved the highest accumulated score from the five judges, is sure to herald a new era of recognition for the Plettenberg Bay wine region.
In the other categories, the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge Trophy for Best Scoring Brut Blend went to Klein Roosboom from Durbanville with the Klein Roosboom Marné MCC Brut (n/v). Best Rosé was Franschhoek’s Anthonij Rupert Wines with its L’Ormarins Brut Classique Rosé (n/v), while the Graham Beck Bliss Nectar (n/v) saw this famous Robertson producer win the trophy for Best Demi-Sec Cap Classique.
Speaking at this year’s Amorim Cap Classique Challenge awards’ ceremony held in Franschhoek, Amorim SA managing director Joaquim Sá said this year’s competition was held in the most extraordinary times imaginable due to the national lockdown South Africa experienced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“But for us as organisers, the country’s Cap Classique producers and the judging panel it was a case of ‘the show must go on’,” he said “That the competition generated such enthusiasm among producers underscores the fact that the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge has become an integral part of the South African wine industry, honouring a sector that is locally and internationally being recognised as one of the country’s premier wine offerings.”
This year’s judges were Heidi Duminy (convenor), Cathy Marston (wine educator and writer), Penny Setti (sommelier) and winemakers Paul Gerber and Pierre de Klerk. Nathan Valentine from Villiera was the protégé judge.
The winning wine is available at the Newstead Wines website at R245 a bottle in cases of 6