Friday, October 21, 2016

2016 FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Awards at Nooitgedacht, Stellenbosch

Every year the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group (SBIG) runs this competition, which is sponsored by First National Bank, "To celebrate and recognise excellence amongst local producers who have dedicated countless hours to perfecting their craft." This year there were 169 entries judged and this was our chance to see the winners and taste the wines. The award ceremony was held at Nooitgedacht Estate in Stellenbosch, and was followed by lunch
How very appropriate to be greeted with Steenberg's sparkling Sauvignon Blanc
The event was very well organised and we loved the format. We were invited to be there at 10h30. First, we went into a long hall where the top 20 sauvignons were available for us to taste and we were allowed 1¾ hours to do so. At this point, no one knew the names of the winners
Miles Mossop of Tokara with his 2016 Reserve Collection Sauvignon Blanc
Jacques Jordaan and Hannes Meyer of Simonsig with theirs, the 2015 Sunbird
Canapés circulated, just in case you were peckish. Beetroot and cream cheese on a crisp tart base
Danie Keulder from Nitida with the Golden Orb 2015 Sauvignon Blanc.
Tiny duck samoosas with a dipping sauce
The team from Jordan, winemaker Sjaak Nelson and Marketing manager Thea van der Merwe toast winemaker Lukas Wentzel from Groote Post. Jordan entered two wines: The Outlier 2015 Sauvignon Blanc and the Jordan 2015 Sauvignon Blanc
Charles Hopkins of De Grendel in conversation with Morne Vrey of Delaire Graff and some keen observers
Catherine Marshall and her mum Jakki. We really liked her wooded 2015 Sauvignon Blanc. There are not that many Blanc Fumés made these days.
Judge Christian Eedes and Joris van Almenkerk with Cathy Marshall. Joris had the Almenkerk 2015 in the competition
Then, at 12h15, it was time to go into the dining area to enjoy the awards presentation over lunch
A spacious building with a huge barn-like roof
The menu
The starter, a perfectly oozy poached egg with fresh asparagus, resting on a single salmon raviolo. Pasta a little undercooked, but great flavour from the salmon
JD Pretorius opened the proceedings. The aim of the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group is to promote South African Sauvignon Blanc, which is the number one selling varietal in export wines, bulk and bottle by a long way. 2016 was a good harvest. They are seeing such originality in the wines, a huge array of different styles. This is our strength, regional site specific styles. There were 169 entries from 111 producers
Listening intently were Thys Louw of Diemersdal
GM of Tokara Karl Lambour
Hannes Meyer of Simonsig
Jacques Jordaan, Simonsig Marketing manager
Sjaak Nelson of Jordan
Main Course - two pieces of chicken breast (not too dry) stuffed with spinach served with a good parsnip and butternut puree, green beans, honey roasted butternut topped a delicious crisp piece of chicken skin. There was a good chicken and Sauvignon Blanc jus. It was a very large Boland helping of chicken!
Winnie Bowman CWM told us about the judging. Neil Ellis, seasoned winemaker and family estate proprietor, acted as convenor of the Top 10 jury which included wine journalist, Christian Eedes, winemakers, Wilhelm Pienaar and Narina Cloete as well as herself
Joris van Almenkerk with Chris du Toit, CEO of Graham Beck Enterprises
This year’s Top 10 wines, in alphabetical order, are
•        Almenkerk Sauvignon Blanc 2015
•        Cape Point Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (wooded)
•        De Grendel Sauvignon Blanc 2016
•        Hermanuspietersfontein Nr 5 Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (wooded)
•        Jordan The Outlier Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (wooded)
•        Ken Forrester Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2015
•        Merwida Sauvignon Blanc 2016
•        Nitida Golden Orb Sauvignon Blanc 2015
•        Tokara Reserve Collection Elgin Sauvignon Blanc 2016
•        Uitkyk Sauvignon Blanc 2015
The other 10 all received certificates

The top 10 winners with sponsors
Sjaak Nelson and Thea vd Merwe of Jordan with the award for The Outlier Sauvignon Blanc and the top 20 certificate for the Jordan 2015
Cape Point viticulturalist Hendri Burger and winemaker Riandri Visser
Mark from Ken Forrester Vineyards
Desserts were served on a table in the foyer with coffee. Tiny salted chocolate tarts
Mini angelfood cupcakes
Lemon tart cups There were also macarons
Lucas Wentzel with Uitkyk winemaker Estelle Lourens
A bank of nasturtiums at the riverside
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016
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