Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Launch of the 2020 (40th Anniversary) edition of the Platter South African Wine Guide

The 2020, 40th Anniversary, edition of the John Platter South African Wine Guide has been published and you can get your copy from good booksellers and wine shops. This year it is a fetching shade of Karoo Midnight Sky, a deep navy blue
We were invited to attend the launch of the Guide and the Five Star wine awards last week,
held at the Table Bay Hotel in the V&A Waterfront. It was very well attended
Donovan Rall waiting for a glass, as we were; they were in very short supply
The MCC on offer was made by Graham Beck; it is a special label for the Table Bay Hotel
The backroom boy and girls, prepared for the action
Time to begin the awards, and move to the large banqueting area
We are all extremely grateful that they supplied seating this year. The awards can take a fairly long time;
standing is not very comfortable for that length of time and it is difficult to take notes
The seating was cleverly arranged in groups
Lynne managed to find a seat in the front and was able to write as the awards proceeded
Publisher JP Rossouw opened the proceedings
Brothers James and Stuart Downes of Shannon Vineyards with fingers crossed
Esh Naidoo, Managing Director of Diners Club SA, who sponsors the Platter Wine Guide, made the opening speech. He congratulated the team for their efforts and their commitment to shining a light on the wine industry. He said that he is a novice wine drinker and the Platter guide helps him to choose good wines! Diners Club also sponsors the Winemaker of the Year and the Young Winemaker of the year (We will report on that next week)
He will raise a glass to wish the industry a good harvest in 2020
Linda Potgieter handles the Social Media; Christine Bishop is in charge of the administration of Platter and the awards
125 Five Star certificates for wines this year. Food24 has published the list of these and the top wines of the year
Click on this link:
There has been an immense rise in quality. If you want to see how the wineries scored, you need to buy a copy of Platter
It is our main wine reference book, so useful and informative and is much used during the year
We bought the first and subsequent editions and have every one of the 40 editions in our collection
Looking at them gives an impressive illustration of the fantastic growth our wine industry has seen in the last 40 years
JP reveals the first copy, the colour described as Karoo Night Sky
JD Pretorius and Christiane von Arnim from Warwick Estate
Philip van Zyl has the arduous task of editing this huge tome and has done so for many years
He said that he is "Still Here!" and spoke about how in the first year of the Platter guide it had 1250 wines and one Chardonnay
If anyone has a copy of that first edition in Afrikaans, they are looking for a copy; it is very rare
After the certificates have been handed out to the wine makers who had achieved 5 stars for their wines,
we went on to the awards for the Wines of the Year and the Producer of the Year
Unusually, there were several joint awards this year

The Award for Top Cabernet Franc was shared by Antonij Rupert wines (Dawie Botha),
Raats Family Wines (Gavin Bruwer) and De Trafford (David Trafford)
The Cabernet Sauvignon of the Year and Red Blend of the Year (Other varietals) Awards
went to Rust en Vrede (Malie McGregor)
The Cinsaut of the Year Award was shared by Bosman Family Vineyards (Corlea Fourie and Natasha Williams)
and Savage Wines (Duncan Savage)
Sadie Family wines received Awards for White Blend of the Year (Palladius 2017) and Grenache noir of the Year (Soldaat 2018)
The Pinotage of the Year Award went to Flagstone Wines (Mia Boonzaaier and MD James Reid)
The Pinot Noir of the Year was Storm Wines Ignis Pinot noir 2017 (Hannes Storm)
Anton and Julia van Biljon received the award for Cape Bordeaux Red Blend of the Year
(Winemakers Christopher Keet and Anton van Biljon)
Anri Truter with the Award for Pinotage based Red Blend of the Year (Beyerskloof Faith 2015)
Dewald Heyns (Saronsberg), Erika Obermeyer and Malie McGregor (Rust en Vrede)
shared the Award for Shiraz based Red Blend of the Year
The Chardonnay of the Year Award was shared by Restless River (Craig Wessels)
and Leeu Passant (Andrea Mullineux and Wade Sander)
Rall Wines (Donovan Rall) produced the Chenin blanc of the Year, Ava 2018
David Clarke received the Award for Sauvignon blanc of the Year on behalf of Trizanne Signature Wine
(Trizanne Barnard, Sondagskloof Blanc Fumé 2018)
Semillons of the Year were Rickety Bridge (The Pilgrimage 201) and Anthonij Rupert Wyne (Lang Groendruif 2016)
Ridgeback (Toit Wessels) produced the Viognier of the Year
Delaire Graff produced the Cape Bordeaux White Blend of the Year, Delaire Graff White Reserve 2017
Laibach Vineyards (owners Petra Laibach-Kühner and Rolf Kühner; winemaker Francois van Zyl)
and Klein Constantia (Craig Harris and Matthew Day, Vin de Constance) produced the Natural Sweet wines of the Year
Tokara (Stuart Botha and Aidan Morton) and Buitenverwachting (Brad Paton)
shared the Award for Noble Late Harvest of the Year
Port Style Wines of the year were Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2017 (Carel Nel)
and Upland Cape Tawny 2014 (Edmund Oettlé)
Brandy of the Year was KWV Centenary
Anne Ferreira received the framed certificates for MCC of the Year and Newcomer Winery of the Year,
both for Pieter Ferreira Cap Classique
Pieter Ferreira has been Graham Beck winemaker and Cellarmaster since 1990
While he still holds that position, he has launched his own marque with immediate success and recognition
Boekenhoutskloof (Marc Kent) received the Editor's Award
Top Performing Winery of the Year is once again Mullineux (Chris and Andrea Mullineux)
who were also awarded certificates for Shiraz and Vin de Paille of the Year. Huge congratulations 
Siobhan Thompson, Guy McDonald and Maryna Calow enjoying the evening
After the awards ceremony, we moved to another room and were given the opportunity of tasting all of the 5 star Platter wines and brandies. Well, it is not possible to taste all 125, but we had ringed several we wanted to taste. It is a fantastic opportunity as, although we do know and have tasted many of the top wines during the year, there are some we had not had the privilege of tasting, and a few we wish to taste again
It really comes down to a splash, a sip, savour and then a spit. A fantastic evening that finished at 11 pm
A talented musician always attracts Groupies!
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