SOMMELIERS’ SELECTION RESULTS IN SWEET SUCCESS
RWV winners target wine lovers in new and innovative ways
By Myrna Robins on behalf of Robertson Wine Valley
The results of the third Sommeliers’ Selection competition have been announced and we raise our glasses to the Robertson Wine Valley cellars which notched up wins in this unique contest.
In this competition, judged by a panel of South Africa’s top sommelier, categories are based on those of a comprehensive restaurant wine-list. The results have been collated as such, and the “wine-list” of winners will be distributed countrywide to restaurants and the trade.
The Graham Beck Brut Non-Vintage and Paul René Brut 2014 were both voted winners in the MCC class dubbed FIZZ.
The Graham Beck Brut Non-Vintage, comprising near equal quantities of chardonnay and pinot noir, has been described as the cellar’s mainstay, and is just one of seven award-winning Cap Classique’s from this cellar which is now focussing solely on Cap Classique.
Henk van Niekerk from Paul René describes the Sommeliers’ Selection as “a great initiative” and one that he is ‘very happy to be associated with.” He adds: “We are a brand that puts a lot of focus and emphasis on restaurants and therefore making it onto their list is an important achievement for us.”
Bon Courage Estate scored with André’s Fame Colombard 2017 in the category for FRESH & CRUNCHY WHITES. Comment from the estate presents a brief history of how this humble but hugely enjoyable cultivar enjoyed special attention from owner, André Bruwer. Night harvesting preserved flavours in these riverside grapes and the estate started bottling colombard in 1983. Today Bon Courage is renowned for this crisp, perennially popular summer wine.
In the category, SAVVY WINE-BY-THE-GLASS – WHITE, De Wetshof estate claimed honours with their Limestone Hill chardonnay 2017. The cellar supports the philosophy behind this fresh and different contest, and, given its range of superb, food-friendly chardonnays, it is not surprising that its unoaked charmer pleased the judges. In the CELLAR SELECTION – REDS section, Rietvallei scored with their JMB Cabernet Franc 2011.
Kobus Burger describes the winning wine as a culmination of a vision he and his late father Johnny Burger shared. Featuring his father’s initials, the wine is a tribute to the Rietvallei heritage.
To sum up, while the Sommeliers’ Selection Wine Competition is a novel contest that appeals to the young, plugged-in consumer, the organisers point out that professional standards are maintained by the judging panel who all possess extensive local and international judging and work experience. The wines were all tasted blind. Their “gastronomical relevance” was assessed, as were stylistic approaches, price points and regionality. Winners will receive stickers and neck tags to enable the bottles to stand out on store shelves.
As Robertson Valley wines are renowned as companionable partners to a wide range of fare, from braai to gourmet, soup to dessert, it’s not surprising that the judges picked up on these characteristics.