Monday, May 26, 2014

Christian Eedes Top 10 Cabernet Sauvignon Awards 2014

Christian Eedes' 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Awards presentation took place at Burrata restaurant in the Biscuit Mill precinct in Woodstock, our old stamping ground. Christian, James Pietersen, Head Sommelier at Belthazar/Balducci’s, and Roland Peens of the Wine Cellar hand-picked 60 of the best producers, whom they invite to enter their Cabernets and these are then tasted and they choose their top ten. It is definitely not a Talent spotting, come-all competition; they are looking for wines that display 1st, 2nd and 3rd Growth status. Sponsored by Sanlam Private Investments, this competition is in its third year and there were two 5 star wines, six 4½ star wines and two 4 star wines.
FIVE STARS - Rustenberg Peter Barlow 2009 & Waterford 2011
FOUR AND A HALF STARS - Knorhoek Pantére 2011; Rickety Bridge Paulina’s Reserve 2011;  Spier Woolworths Reserve 2011;  Spier Woolworths The Hutton Single Vineyard 2012;  Thelema 2010; Warwick Blue Lady 2010
FOUR STARS: Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2009 & Oldenburg Vineyards 2011
To quote Christian: “Local wine makers are displaying a far greater understanding of the wine styles being demanded by both critics and consumers. Winemakers are going in pursuit of fruit and less aggressive tannins, and simply put, this means picking riper and working smarter in the cellar. The end result is a wine with sumptuous fruit but not short of freshness or tannic structure. The best wines display fruit purity, acidity which is not hard or spiky and firm but fine tannins."
Eight of these wines come from Stellenbosch, 1 from Franschhoek and 1 from Darling.
We were able to taste through all the top ten wines and, while there is quite a linear strand connecting them (we think due to the predilections of the judges), there are some quite elegant and restrained Bordeaux style wines and one or two of the more robust fruit-driven style that we personally prefer with South African Cabernet.  Most of them need to be kept for a year or five, it would be infanticide to drink them young.

We were welcomed with a glass of the house MCC from Colmant
Wine retailer extraordinaire Mike Bampfield Duggan and Shante Hutton, News Editor for
Wynand Grobler of Rickety Bridge with Brian Cluver and Nic van Aarde of Warwick Estate
and joined by Burrata owner Neil Grant
Wynand Grobler with journalist Greg Landman and Johan Joubert of Kleine Zalze
Christian Eedes and Daniël Kriel, CEO of sponsor Sanlam Private Investment, open proceedings
Assembled tasters and media listen attentively to the awards and take notes
Christian explains how they selected the top 10 wines
Hennie Coetzee and Maggie Mostert of
Johan Joubert of Kleine Zalze collects his award for one of our favourites, the fruit driven Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2009
The top 10 winners with their awards
Clever canapés for those of us not eating carbs. Tender beef with horseradish crème on a wafer of ciabatta
Not so sensible were toasted brioche sandwiches. They did disappear quickly though
Paulina's Reserve from Rickety Bridge 2010 4.5*
Thomas Webb and  Rudi Schultz of Thelema Sutherland with Christina Harvett, who co-ordinated the tasting
Moist lamb meatballs topped with parsnip crisps
Chefs preparing the non-stop canapés
Small lamb pies and Arancini rice balls
Lamb meatballs just out of the oven
Head chef Annemarie Steenkamp with her canapés
Journalist Joanne Gibson with judge James Pietersen
Three involved wine people in discussion: Jan Laubscher, Christian Eedes and Dax Villanueva
Editor of Classic Wine Cathryn Henderson, Greg Landman,  Mike Bampfield Duggan and Karin Glanfield-Pawley
Waterford’s five star 2011 Cabernet
For a change, a good picture of our photographer, John Ford, with Jacqueline Lahoud of Photographed with John's camera by James Pietersen
From Woolworths: Single Vineyard range Spier 2012 The Hutton which was awarded 4½ stars

© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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