Durbanville wine estate Diemersdal staked a place as one of the most successful producers in the history of the annual Absa Top 10 Pinotage Trophy awards by this year raking in its eighth Top 10 trophy. The Diemersdal Pinotage Reserve 2018 was selected as one of the Top 10 winners in this year’s prestigious competition, which was held for the 23nd time attracting 161 entries.
“The Absa Top 10 Pinotage Trophy is one of the most sought-after red wine trophies for any South African winemaker, and winning it for the eighth time is a true privilege and honour,” says Thys Louw,” owner-winemaker at Diemersdal, which was also the only Durbanville winery to win a Top 10 this year.
“It just feels better each time you hold one of these trophies, an award you don’t take for granted. The number of quality Pinotage producers is increasing at a rate of knots as more winemakers discover the magical qualities of the grape and its ability to express the sites of our country’s best wine regions.
“Winning an Absa Top 10 in this environment of quality wines makes it very special. I’d like to congratulate every other Trophy winner, finalist and entrant for what they are doing to make Pinotage an extraordinary red wine category which is one of the showcases of the South African wine industry.”
Pinotage has a long history in Durbanville and on Diemersdal specifically. Some 50% of the grapes for the Diemersdal Pinotage Reserve 2018 originate from the property’s 44 year-old bushvines, the balance sourced from vines 20 years younger.
“Dryland farming on clay and shale soils and the maritime influence all add to the structure of the wine which is characterised by a formidable backbone complemented with bright fruit expression,” says Louw. “We aim for sturdiness in the wine, but elegance and refinement are non-negotiable.”
After harvesting the grapes were fermented in one ton open wood-fermenters for four days at 26-28ºC. The cap was punched through every three hours. 100% MLF completed spontaneously in 225L French oak barrels. Wood maturation was done over 16 months, also in 225l French, of which 60% was new.
“The cellar and vineyard teams have embraced Pinotage as one of Diemersdal’s key red varieties, and it is their understanding of the grape from the vine to the bottling of the final wine that enables us to make a Pinotage showing true quality,” says Louw. “And more importantly, this eighth Absa Top 10 Trophy has shown the quality to be consistent.”