Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Riscura White Hot Wines Awards for white blends

These are blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon and produce elegant dry white wines which show a lot of depth, length and quality. All that may sound rather vague but, when you taste a good white blend, you know you have something special in your glass. The combination of these two grapes is a magical one, the wines keep and improve as they age. The Semillon softens the Sauvignon and it's an almost perfect marriage. If we could only convince South Africans to drink more of them, they would deservedly become more popular. In France they revere them. If this blend is grown in Bordeaux near the Gironde River in North Western France the wines are simply labelled with that appellation. 35 entries from 31 producers were tasted by the judges Christian Eedes, James Pietersen and Roland Peens. The lowest score (they use the 100 point scheme) was 86. This year there were certificates given to 14 wines that scored over 90. Three wines scored 94, the highest. To see the entire list click here http://winemag.co.za/riscura-white-hot-wine-awards-2016-results/
Albrecht Gantz, Head of Riscura Analytics at sponsor RisCura Solutions (Pty) Ltd, chatting to Jean Daneel who represents Tonnellerie Sylvain, donor of a new oak barrel to the top wine which, this year, was the Iona One Man Band White 2015
Judge Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za with Derek Prout-Jones of 4 Decades Capital and Albrecht Gantz
Derek Prout-Jones with his daughter
Barton winemaker PJ Geyer with journalist Mel Minnaar
Dana Buys and winemaker Susan Erasmus of Vrede en Lust
Jacqueline Lahoud of Winemag.co.za, who helps Christian to organise the event, welcomed the guests
Albrecht Gantz spoke about RisCura's sponsorship
After the certificates are awarded, the wines are uncorked and we can taste them all
Tokara 2014, one of the top wines, scoring 94, had hillside herbal pyrazines with long leanness and salty minerality
The Strandveld Adamastor from Elim near Cape Agulhas, another 94, was smoky, restrained with a little kelp and nice layers of fruit in waiting, ready to open up
Constantia Uitsig Natura Vista 2014 scored 93. Notes of herbs and fynbos, lean fruit, very crisp and serious
The top wine, Iona One Man Band White 2015 really delighted. It's green and smoky on the nose, full of pure fruit, lime and a hint of cassis and finishes slightly salty. In waiting for a splendid coming out in a year or two
Trizanne Signature Wines Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015 scored the only 92. Lean, perfumed, salty and layered
Highlands Road Sine Cera 2014 scored 91. It is herbal, with green notes, crisp and dry
KWV The Mentors Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015, another 91, is tongue tingling, fresh and with a good mouthfeel showing the roundness of the Semillon
Delaire Graff White Reserve 2014 scored 91. It has asparagus on the nose, and is clean, mean and green. One to watch as it matures
Creation Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015 was another 91. Fynbos and pyrazines on the nose with a little Sauvignon cat's pee. Peachy, ripe and full on the palate, the style we appreciate
Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh 2015 scored 91. It  is salty and full to bursting with Semillon flavours. Softer than previous vintages
Barton Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015 another 91. Full of mutton fat and lime, balanced. It is unwooded
Zorgvliet SimonĂ© 2015 scored 90. Full of clean limes. This, however, was a little contentious as it seemed to be going through malolactic fermentation in the two bottles we tasted, as it was fizzy
CanapĂ©s of smoked salmon mousse on a green base
Warm mussels in a sauce
Mulderbosch Faithful Hound White 2014 scored 90. Salty and full, slightly sweeter and rather tropical
Nitida Coronata Integration 2015 was another 90 point scorer. Herbal and full of Durbanville pyrazines and salt. Sweeter fruit with smoky wood on the end. To our taste, especially with a little age
Juicy pork belly squares topped with fennel were a really good match to the blends. The dish didn't fight with the crisp flavours and warmed its belly on the Semillon
The venue was Tjing Tjing Torii restaurant in Longmarket Street
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016
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