We were all tuxed-up, man. For this was Veritas, South African’s premier part of the wine events schedule. So a tuxedo was donned for?+¦-+?+¡the most?+¦-+?+¡important show of the year.
The Veritas Wine Awards has credibility.?+¦-+?+¡It’s got?+¦-+?+¡class. It sets the trend in highlighting the movers, shakers and performers in the wine local wine industry. Wine show numbero uno.?+¦-+?+¡Speak to the wine retail. Do consumer research. I’ve done it a Veritas Gold or Double Gold moves bottles. Puts you on the map. Street cred, with a capital S.
Because it’s run by the Dons of the South African wine industry. People who have produced – and still produce -?+¦-+?+¡wine themselves. Who have sat on countless tasting panels for Veritas, other competitions and industry selection tastings. These folk are the real deal. They taste wine every day of their lives. And as winemakers they live with the product from grape juice through fermentation, racking and various stages of maturation.
They have walked the walk, and sure can talk the talk.
Oh yes, and Veritas includes wine-makers on its tasting panels along with local and international experts of various persuasions. This is what sets Veritas apart having experienced producers on its judging panels. They know the technical points other judges have yet?+¦-+?+¡to read or hear about. These producers also taste more, see more and live closer to the product than the rest of us. Qualified to the max.
This year’s Veritas delivered its usual set of confirmations of producer excellence in certain fields as well as throwing up a couple of curve balls.
As far as the producers are concerned, I tend to look past the rows of Double Golds by huge conglomerates fortunate to have a massive diversity of products from brandy to fortifieds to enter. Good luck to them. Well done.
But to my mind, Jordan stole the show. Not only with three Double Golds, but also for consistency. Jordan is as certain of shining at any wine awards event as Jacob Zuma is of copping a feel from any mamma?+¦-+?+¡that wears a skirt and has an arse like a Burgundy barrel.
Jordan took Double Golds for two whites Nine Yards 2011 Chardonnay and Chardonnay 2010 as well as the red maestro Cobblers Hill 2008. A stunning performance.
A younger producer, but one slowly crawling up to icon status is Guardian Peak where Philip van Staden runs the show. Two Double Golds, one for the massive Lapa Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 and another for?+¦-+?+¡ the SMG 2010. Breathlessly powerful and graceful wines, with enough fruit to drive the hair-piece from a Cape Flats Lady Boy.
And how about little old Windmeul from Paarl? Two Double Golds, too. Pinotage 2011 and check it out Sauvignon Blanc 2012.
This Sauvignon Blanc must be a surprise to the cool climate cads. Along with Robertson’s Van Loveren taking a Double Gold for its Christina Sauvignon Blanc 2011, the cat must now truly be among the pyrazines in terms of chipping away at the preconceived ideas of variety conformists.
As far as categories go, most were represented among the Double Golds, with Pinot Noir being the only glaring omission. Groote Post, however, chipped in with a Gold.
Personally I was chuffed at the showing of South African Merlots at Veritas, especially in light of self-proclaimed experts claiming the country is not conducive to Merlot, with supremo Christian Eedes sarcastically stating the recognition of Merlot says a lot about Veritas judges.
Well eat my bald patch, big guy. Go talk to some of your fellow judges on Old Mutual Trophy who got booted off Veritas panels before dissing the Big V.
Oh yes, the Merlots. Wines from Marianne, Muratie and Nederburg pulled Double Gold, and deservedly so as they are examples of varietal purity, terroir expressiveness and character. Another ten wines made from this seductive grape received Gold.
So off we go for some?+¦-+?+¡shopping, as the results are also full of hidden gems and bargains. But find it yourself while I head to the winelands for retail therapy check out the detailed Veritas website.