Survivor Chardonnay with its iconic Nguni cow–the survivor

Proud winemaker Ben Snyman in Survivor cellar

Mundus Vini, one of the world’s great wine competitions, takes place in Germany, where wines from all over the globe vie to be the best in their categories. This year’s summer tastings have just concluded in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse (where else?)  under very different conditions from previous years, very hygienically arranged in view of the global pandemic. Nevertheless 120 expert judges from five continents converged to taste 4500 wines. 13 Grand Gold, 919 Gold and 849 silver medals were awarded. The winner of the most medals was Italy, followed by Spain, Germany, France and Portugal.  Australia (59), South Africa (36) and the USA (28) also impressed the judges. Among the Gold medals awarded to SA was one for the superb Dr Charles Niehaus Roodeberg 2017, a magnificent red blend and the Survivor Elgin Chardonnay 2019. The Roodeberg is made of Cabernet, Shiraz, Malbec, Merlot and Cab Franc. The result is luscious and complex with a nose of ripe blackberries with some pepper from the Shiraz, irresistible at R266 at the KWV cellar. The Survivor Chardonnay is made of berries from the Elgin region, barrel fermented, with peach and citrus flavours, even the occasional grape, fruity and rich– most appealing at R185. Ten months’ lees contact add to the richness. The red is great with seared tuna steak and the Chardonnay elevates calamari to great heights.