Terroir Triumph for Robertson Wine Valley
Trophy, National and Area winners star in 2019
There are numerous vinous stars in the valley celebrating their success in the 2019 Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards, but one estate stands out bigger and brighter than its colleagues, so let’s start with a round of prolonged applause for Bon Courage. While the winery is no stranger to recognition of its renowned and prolific ranges, this year saw three of its wines voted as National Winners, several more scoring as Area Winners, and the total combination contributing to Bon Courage collecting both the trophy for Top Wine Estate and Top Terroir Producer.
The national winning wines are Bon Courage André’s Fame Colombard 2019, Jacques Bruère Blanc de Blanc Cap Classique 2011 and Lady of the House Pinotage Rosé 2019. Bon Courage reacted with the following statement “For one wine from the Estate to be selected as top in the country is a huge honour, so for us to receive three such awards are beyond what words can express.”
The national winner in the Tannat class is Kranskop Tannat 2017 while Rietvallei JMB Cabernet Franc 2014 is the national winner in that cultivar class. Their awards, plus those of Bon Courage, contributed to the Trophy for SA Terroir Top Wine Area going to the Robertson District of Klaasvoogds and Goedemoed.
Bushmanspad Estate 2017 Malbec was judged national winner in its class. Winemaker-cum-viticulturist Aldert Nieuwoudt commented:” My team and I... are very excited and grateful to receive this award. We hope that it will help set the benchmark for this unique varietal. Our Malbec certainly has proven to be one of the favourites among our premium red wines. We look forward to sharing this wine with you.”
From Newald Marais, the following info on his fairly unique Tannat is summarised here: “The vines are 10 year old, planted in terroir that is a combo of well-drained chalk and sandstone. A basket press was used, followed by maturation in French oak for 12 months. The wine offers flavours of strawberry and cherry on the palate, with soft tannins and has good ageing potential.”
The winning cabernet franc from Rietvallei, part of their Heritage Collection, was sourced from a single vineyard planted in 2003 in calcareous soil. Natural fermentation in open- top concrete tanks was followed by 24 months maturation in 300 litre French oak. Both full-bodied and complex, this wine presents excellent wood and fruit integration.
Turning to Area winners, the Robertson District list of winners is one of the longest of all regions in this year’s contest: Bon Courage garnered an additional five wins, Kranskop an additional two, McGregor Wines four and Rietvallei one. They are listed at the end of this text.
The 14th SA Terroir Awards saw a record number of 328 entries, limited to wines certified as single vineyard wines, estate-produced and those from a ward or small district. Chairman of SANWSA, which handles the contest, Christo Pienaar is delighted about the 25% increase in entries this year. Terroir has not featured
much in traditional wine competitions, but here it plays an all-important role in the criteria used by the panel of judges.
The awards presented to our valley producers are impressive proof of the fine and diverse terroir of the Breede River valley region, as well as the talent and dedication of its winemakers and viticulturists. They are also significant in another sphere: As the winning wines will be travelling to the Indian Ocean islands as they did last year, they will be offering new and international markets a taste of our fine products, thanks to sponsor Novare.
What a great start to the 2019 competition season! Long may the Robertson Wine Valley triumphs continue as the season hots up...
The wines from the following cellars were judged to be the top Area winners in the Robertson district in the 2019 SA Terroir Awards. In alphabetical order:
Bon Courage Inkará cabernet sauvignon 2016
Bon Courage Inkará shiraz 2016
Bon Courage Noble Late Harvest 2018
Bon Courage The Goosebery Bush Sauvignon Blanc 2019
Bon Courage white muscadel 2018
Kranskop pinot noir 2017
Kranskop viognier 2018
McGregor Wines chardonnay The Golden Shower 2018
McGregor Wines chenin blanc 2019
McGregor Wines pinotage 2018
McGregor Wines red blend The Falling Star 2017
Rietvallei Dark Cin cinsaut 2017
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Written by: Myrna Robins