As far as Pinotage is concerned, being one of the Absa Top 10 Pinotage winners is the highest accolade any local Pinotage producer hopes to achieve. The Top 10 winners not only represent the cream of the crop of South African Pinotage, but also serve as a reminder of the quality of South African wine as a whole. Or, in other words, wine that is on par with the very best that the rest of the world has to offer.
Judges for the 2019 competition were treated to exceptional wines and consisted of Dr. Winnie Bowman (competition chair), Greg Sherwood (London based Wine Master), Razvan Macici (award winning winemaker), Nomonde Kubheka (winemaker connected to Pinotage Youth Development Academy), Frans Smit (Spier cellarmaster) and Solly Monyamane (protégé).
The 2019 Absa Top 10 Pinotage winners:
Anura Pinotage Reserve 2016
WO Simonsberg-Paarl (Anura), winemaker Stander Maass
Badsberg Pinotage 2018
WO Breedekloof (Badsberg Wynkelder), winemaker Henri Swiegers
Reserve Pinotage 2017
WO Stellenbosch (Beyerskloof Wyne), winemaker Anri Truter
Diemersdal Pinotage Reserve
WO Durbanville (Diemersdal Landgoed), winemaker Thys Louw
Fleur du Cap Series Privée
WO Coastal Region (Distell – Fleur du Cap Wines), winemaker Pieter Badenhorst
Kanonkop Pinotage 2015
WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch (Kanonkop Wine Estate), winemaker Abrie Beeslaar
Survivor Pinotage 2017
WO Swartland (Overhex Wines International), winemaker Ben Snyman
Simonsig Redhill Pinotage
WO Stellenbosch (Simonsig Landgoed), winemaker Debbie Thompson
Vondeling Bowwood Pinotage 2016
WO Voor Paardeberg (Vondeling Wines), winemaker Matthew Copeland
Wildekrans Pinotage Barrel Select Reserve
WO Botrivier (Wildekrans Wine Estate), winemaker Braam Gericke
The Winning Wines
The Absa Top 10 Pinotage wines are from 6 different wine regions, with the Stellenbosch and Paarl regions boasting the highest amount of winning wines with three and two wines respectively.
Kanonkop made history by making the Absa Top 10 Pinotage for the 14th year. Not only is their Pinotage the oldest winning wine this year, but also the only winner from vintage 2015. Beyerskloof claimed their 9th trophy in the competition with their Beyerskloof Winemaker’s Reserve Pinotage 2017. Simonsig rounds off Stellenbosch’s winning wine tally in this year’s Absa Top 10 Pinotage winning line-up, with their Simonsig Redhill Pinotage 2017.
The two 2018 vintage wines in this year’s winning line-up, the Diemersdal Pinotage Reserve 2018 and the Badsberg Pinotage 2018, are the only wines from the Durbanville and Breedekloof regions respectively.
Vondeling Wines, making its debut as an Absa Top 10 Pinotage winner with the Vondeling Pinotage 2016, is joined by another 2016 wine from the Paarl region, namely the Anura Pinotage Reserve 2016.
The Fleur du Cap Series Privée Pinotage 2016 and the Wildekrans Pinotage Barrel Select Reserve 2016 are the two other 2016 vintage wines that emerged victorious. The 2016 vintage is the most represented vintage with four winning wines.
And last of the Top 10, but not least, we have the Survivor Pinotage 2017 as sole representative from the Swartland region.