KWV Kicks Butt at Veritas

Richard Rowe, KWV Cellarmaster (left) with Kobus Gelderblom, KWV Brandy Kingpin.
To say the KWV, one of SA’s best-known wine brands, has had an interesting time of late is a bit of an understatement, one akin to saying that Julius Malema tends to talk codswallop and South African rugby fans are a bit upset about the week-end’s result.
Six months ago the KWV was having its soul (yes, apparently it does have one) being ripped apart by vicious corporate battles. For there are various posses of corporate tigers who see the KWV as an asset-rich trove ready for some stripping and chopping and selling, and so on.
Things were ugly, especially when MD Thys Loubser left the building. ,And the ugliness ain’t over ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+ëcause the Fat Lady hasn’t finished singing yet.
The whole crisis has led to the KWV’s reputation getting a pounding due to the ANC Youth League-like abruptness with which it communicates to the outside world.
But that wine can make things better has been shown by the KWV’s performance in the cellar. It did well at the low-key Old Mutual Trophy Show, but nobody would have expected the KWV to rock the boat at this year’s Veritas Awards the way that it did.
Here the KWV received a remarkable five double gold and nine gold medals at the 2011 Veritas Award ceremony ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ the most double gold and gold medals ever won by one cellar., Double gold medals will adorn KWV’s The Mentors Sauvignon Blanc 2009, the 2009 The Mentors Petit Verdot, as well as their Cape Classic Tawny Port and an exceptional 1930 Muscadel LBV. A double gold for their 15 year old pot still brandy again confirmed their prowess on both the wine and brandy front.
Under cellar-master Richard Rowe the KWV has improved its offerings, of that there is no doubt. The Mentors range has the potential to re-install the KWV’s former reputation of greatness.
One wine that should have been among the Double Golds is the Mentor’s Grenache Blanc 2010. Perhaps the category is not being taken seriously due to its oddish-following and the limited offerings. But it is one of the most superb wines I have tasted this year ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ white or red.
Although no other cellar really followed closely on their heels other top achievers in terms of double gold and gold medals include: Boplaas Family Vineyards (3 double gold, 1 gold), Nederburg Wines (2 double gold, 9 gold), Nuy Wine Cellar (2 double gold, 7 gold), Distell Brandy (2 double gold, 6 gold), Bon Courage and Spier won 2 double gold and 5 gold medals each, Flagstone (2 double gold, 2 gold) and Kanonkop Wine Estate (2 double gold, 1 gold). Delaire Graff Estate also earned two double gold medals.
Out of a total of 1 739 entries 42 (2.41%) double gold, 158 (9.08%) gold, 609 (35.0%) silver and 619 (35.6%) bronze medals were awarded.
Boplaas Family Vineyards, South Africa’s leading port masters, is second in the double gold row with three of these coveted awards for their Cape Tawny Port, the 2009 Cape Vintage Port, and a 1997 Tawny Port Reserve.
This year Nederburg received two double gold medals for a 2003 Private Bin Edelkeur Noble Late Harvest and a 2010 Private Bin Eminence natural sweet wine.
Nuy Wine Cellar’s double gold trio were awarded for their 2007 Nuy White Muscadel and a 1989 Red Muscadel.
Two of Distell’s premium brandy brands won the favour of the judges and consequently double gold status: Flight of the Fish Eagle and Van Ryn’s 12 year old Distillers Reserve.
Bon Courage boasts with two double gold awards for their 2006 Blanc de Blanc Jacques Bru+¬re as well as a 2011 Red Muscadel.
Spier, last year’s top achiever, won two double gold medals for the 2010 Woolworths Classic Chenin Blanc and the Woolworths The Hutton Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2008 vintage.
Flagstone’s two double gold medals were awarded for their Music Room Cabernet Sauvignon and the Writer’s Block Pinotage, both from the 2009 vintage.
Two double gold medals went to Kanonkop for their 2006 and 2008 Pinotage.
Delaire Graff Estate deserved two double gold medals for the 2009 Cape Vintage Port and the 2010 Chenin Blanc.
The full results are available online at

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