Monday, November 07, 2016

Launch of Platter's 2017 South African Wine Guide

This is the quintessential guide to South African wine. It is not totally comprehensive, some wineries do not wish to be included, but their names and contact details are included, if not their wines. We use it daily as a reference book and many of you use it as a travel guide when you want to visit farms and as a purchase guide when choosing which wines to buy. The 37th edition was released on the 31st of October and this year it is Forest Green. We were at the launch and could taste all the five star wines (95 to 100 points). Well nearly all. OK, some. There are 95 wines and 13 Brandy/Husk spirits. The launch was held this year at the Table Bay Hotel. for more information
We have a complete collection as we have both used the guide from the beginning
A glass of the Table Bay Graham Beck Brut Zero MCC to start the evening
Broadcaster Guy MacDonald, breakfast show presenter on Magic 828
Photographer Shawn Benjamin with journalist, wine Judge and Platter taster David Biggs
The room is full of wine makers and media
An amusing moment for Ingrid Motteux, owner of Winewise and previous Platter taster, with Platter Guide Editor, Philip van Zyl
Waiting for the announcements
David Biggs chatting to Alan Mullins, Woolworths wine selector, and his driver
Jean Pierre Rossouw, publisher of the Platter Guide, begins proceedings
Ringside "seats." The announcements take about an hour, some of us older folk in the industry suggested that, next year, we should bring deck chairs
A few anxious faces. Usually if you are invited, you are going to get something. Not always, but usually
The 5 star classification award certificates
The colour of the cover is revealed. It is always a secret until this moment, with lots of guessing beforehand
Philip van Zyl begins by telling us how many awards there are this year. How it works. All the wines are tasted sighted by the tasters, at home in their own time. They put forward any of the wines they think are deserving of five star status and these wines are retasted, blind, by the whole group. Any that do not make 5 stars are awarded 4.5 stars
Hennie Coetzee, one of this year's tasters, and his partner Maggie Mostert
Andre Badenhorst
The Social Media table
Handing out the awards begins. Winery and Wines of the year went to Nederburg; Red wine of the Year to The Winery of Good Hope for the Radford Dale Black Rock 2014; White Wine of the year was Stellenrust's 51 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2015 and the Dessert wine of the year was Mullineux and Leeu Straw Wine 2015. There were 17 newcomers to the 5 star awards. The younger winemakers are making their presence felt
JP Rossouw with Francois van Zyl of Laibach Vineyards
A happy family from Beaumont. Here is winemaker Sebastian Beaumont with his sister-in-law Nadia and sister Ariane, who is married to JP Rossouw. Sebastian is having a great year. He has two 5 star wines. one for his Iconic Chenin Blanc Hope Marguerite 2015 and one for the 2015 “New Baby”, a 5 way white blend based on Chenin. His wines did very well at the CWG auction in his first year as a member. And there is also a new baby boy to celebrate, yet to be named, and his name will be on the new wine’s label
Nederburg walked away with Winery of the Year, for the second time, a rare occurrence. Accepting the awards are winemakers Natasha Boks and Heinrich Kulsen
"The publisher makes the award to the winner of the most such ultimate ratings." They have four 5 star wines this year. For a winery that produces over 3 million bottles of wine a year from 1000 hectares of grape, over many different brands, this is a huge achievement and points to great attention to production quality and consistency. Not to forget the huge influence and leadership between 2001 and 2015 by cellar master Razvan Macici, who is now chief winemaker for the Distell group. The awards are for 2013 Private Bin R163 Cabernet Sauvignon; red blend Heritage Heroes The Brew Master 2014; Private Bin D234 Sauvignon Blanc 2015; and Winemaster's Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2015.
Three awards for Kleine Zalze (Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012; Family Reserve Chenin Bland2015 and Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2015) and two for Hamilton Russell (Pinot Noir 2015; Chardonnay 2015). Accepting were Kleine Zalze winemaker RJ Botha and Hamilton Russell winemaker Emul Ross
An appropriate T shirt from Mike Ratcliffe of Warwick. They received 5 stars for their 2013 Cabernet Franc
Mini hamburger canapés were in demand
Boplaas was awarded 5 stars for both their 21 year old Potstill Reserve Brandy and their 20 year old Potstill Reserve Brandy
A selection of beautiful 5 star dessert wines to taste: Klein Constantia's Vin de Constance Natural Sweet 2012; Donkiesbaai Hooiwijn Vin de Paille 2015; Fleur du Cap Bergkelder Selection NLH 2012 and Dessert wine of the year Mullineux and Leeu Straw Wine 2015
Brothers James and Stuart Downes, owners of Shannon Vineyards in Elgin were extremely happy at their two five star awards for the 2015 Mount Bullet Merlot and the 2015 Semillon. (The wines are made by Gordon and Nadia Newton Johnson)
More happy smiling faces: Julian Johnson (partner owner) and winemaker Matthew Copeland. They won 5 stars for their Chenin led white blend Babiana 2015, which was also the Bloggers’ Overall Winner at the Nedbank Getaway Green Wine Awards
Celebrating are Ginny Povall of Botanica wines who has two 5 star wines: 2015 Mary Delaney Chenin Blanc and her 2015 Mary Delaney Semillon, with David Finlayson was awarded five stars for his Edgebaston David Finlayson Chenin blanc 2015
The wines to taste are grouped in logical arrangements. Here is a table full of Chenin Blancs
And a long table of reds
The Platters in our cellar
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016

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