Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2013 results

Friday, 31 May, 2013
The 2013 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show delivered a set of results which shook the complacency induced by the medal count in 2012. A marked drop in the number of trophy, gold and silver medal winners compared with the previous year raises real questions about whether the industry has under-delivered to consumers or whether the judges have been inconsistent in the message they are sending to producers and wine drinkers.
“It's probably a bit of both,” admits Show Chairman Michael Fridjhon. “We recognise that the year-on-year improvements in wine quality compel us to raise the bar: in 2012 we probably did not lift it enough, and perhaps this year we raised it – at the show widely regarded as the toughest in the world – a little too much. At the same time we think that vintage-related factors have played a role. Last year the judges were spoilt with the array of wines from superb harvests like the 2009. This year vintage variation was undoubtedly a factor.”

The 2013 results reflect both forces at play: gold medals were down from 42 to 31 (leading to a commensurate drop in the number of category trophies) while silver medals fell from 178 to 77. It is in the silver medal count, according to Fridjhon, that the tougher standards are revealed. “When a judging panel has to choose between awarding a high bronze or a low silver, it's really, in the end, a matter of calibration. I'm involved in many of these 'threshold' decisions and this year more wines were nudged down into bronze rather than up into silver. Of course, this means that top bronzes are better than ever, and represent extraordinary drinking value.”

“We felt that a silver was a massively important award. I’m not sure I know of any other show where the silver is taken quite so seriously as it is here”, commented worldwide wine authority and one of this year’s judges, Oz Clarke.

The Fairbairn Capital Trophy for the Show's top performing winery went to Stark-Condé, a frequent trophy, gold and silver medalist which has been regularly amongst the show's top ten performing producers, but until this year never reached the number one position. In second place was KWV, last year's winner, while the third slot was occupied by Delaire Graff. The “usual suspects” were to be found amongst the trophy and gold medal laureates: Rustenberg, whose 2010 Five Soldiers Chardonnay was a gold medal winner in 2012, won the trophy this year with its 2011 vintage. Delheim, whose 2011 Edelspatz Noble Late Harvest won the 2012 dessert wine trophy, was back on the winners' podium this year with its 2012 vintage. Paul Cluver, whose Chardonnay has been a top silver, or gold, or Trophy-winner over the past three years, took the gold medal for its 2011. Nederburg, Rijk's, Eikendal, Jordan, Nuy, Cederberg and Diemersfontein are all back again this year with trophies and gold medals.

Rijk’s Cellar was the first ever winner of the Harold Eedes Trophy for the Best Chenin Blanc (in 2010 with its 2009 Touch of Oak). This year the Chenin Blanc Reserve 2008 garnered a hat-trick of trophies: the Harold Eedes Trophy for Best Chenin Blanc, the Old Mutual Trophy for Best White Wine Overall and the Old Mutual International Judges’ Trophy.
Happily there are also newcomers, showing the dynamic nature of the Cape wine industry. Amongst the first time gold medal winners are Diemersdal, JC Le Roux and Graham Beck.

The Eikendal Charisma 2011, winner of the Best Shiraz-based Red Blend Trophy collected the Old Mutual Discovery of the Show award. The Trophy is awarded to the Gold Medallist whose final score – at the trophy judging – divided by its declared price on the entry form, yields the highest index (adjusted for category). In short, it is an award for the best value Gold Medal wine.

Sauvignon Blanc - a key category at the OMTWS - now has a new trophy. Nestlé Pure Life Water has chosen to sponsor this class - of which Oz Clarke said: “I think the Sauvignon Blanc thing is terribly important for South Africa. You have an ability in South Africa to make more different styles of Sauvignon Blanc probably than any other country in the world.”

The 2013 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show saw the number of entries judged rise slightly to 1038 from last year’s 1022. In spite of the drop in medal count, at the post-judging industry feedback session, the regular panellists – as well as the overseas judges with prior experience of the competition – commented on the markedly better quality of the top wines in most of the classes.

”For me, what was astounding was how much better the top wines are than they were eight years ago. The wines are much finer, they have a much better balance of tannins, they’ve got beautiful detail on the aromas. There’s a purity and vibrancy in the wines and they have a lovely mouthfeel and finish. And that’s what was really exciting about this show. All the judges felt the same,” said Australian Tom Carson, chief winemaker at Yabby Lakes and past chairman of the Australian National Wine Show.

Museum Class entries continued the 2012 trend of accounting for at least 5% of the submissions – and revealed what was clearly a change in emphasis amongst the country's super-premium wineries.  “In the past, they were intent on using the show results to drive sales of current release wines,” observes Fridjhon.  “Now they are also sending a message about the age-ability and age-worthiness of their best vintages. Since this coincides with a wider industry commitment to focus attention on the age-worthiness of our best wines, we’re delighted with the growth of the Museum Class numbers.” This year saw three Museum Class trophies, one Museum Class gold, eight silvers and 18 bronze. The growth in Museum Class entries has led to creation of the Old Mutual Trophy for the highest scoring Museum Class gold medalist. This year the inaugural winner is Jordan for the 2009 Riesling.??

“Old Mutual is proud of its 12 year sponsorship of the country’s top wine competition,” said Robert Mafuna, Old Mutual’s Sponsorship and Events Executive. “Not only does it provide us with an opportunity to build relationships with wine lovers all over South Africa, but it enables us to play a crucial role in discovering talent and highlighting it both locally and on the international stage”.

Within the next two weeks, a series of tastings will be taken to seven major centres countrywide including East London followed by a Masterclass® in Windhoek. Wine lovers in Cape Town and Johannesburg will be able to taste 105 trophy, gold, silver and some Museum Class medal-winning wines at public tastings and will have an opportunity to judge these top achievers for themselves. They can expect to sample the industry’s best entries from 38 judging categories covering a wide range of varieties and wine styles - from bubblies, sauvignons and rieslings to cabernets, shiraz, merlots and Cape Port with some lesser-known varieties making an appearance.

They can also take advantage of the opportunity to buy superlative wines (while stocks are available) at special show prices via show fulfillment partner Makro. Those attending the public tastings will receive a copy of the Icons – the 168 page show guide - which contains details of all the winning wines, chapters contributed by Tom Carson and Oz Clarke, vintage information and advice about wine service. Icons will also be distributed with the July issue of WineLand.

  • Fairbairn Capital Trophy for the Most Successful Producer - Stark-Condé
  • Old Mutual International Judges' Trophy - Rijk's Chenin Blanc Reserve 2008
  • Old Mutual Trophy for Best Museum Class Wine - Jordan Riesling 2009
  • Old Mutual Trophy for Best Sparkling Wine - JC le Roux Scintilla 2003
  • Old Mutual Trophy for Discovery of the Show - Eikendal Charisma 2011
  • Old Mutual Trophy for Best Dessert Wine - Delheim Edelspatz Noble Late Harvest 2012
  • Old Mutual Trophy for Best Red Wine - Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2010
  • Old Mutual Trophy for Best White Wine - Rijk's Chenin Blanc Reserve 2008
  • American Express Trophy for the Best Cabernet Sauvignon - Stark-Condé Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
  • Harold Eedes Trophy for Best Chenin Blanc - Rijk's Chenin Blanc Reserve 2008
  • Just Riesling Trophy for Best Riesling - Jordan Riesling 2009 (Museum Class)
  • Miele Trophy for the Best Chardonnay - Rustenberg Five Soldiers 2011
  • Nestlé Pure Life Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc - Cederberg Sauvignon Blanc 2012 - unwooded
  • Riedel Trophy for the Best Bordeaux-style Blend - Diemersdal MM Louw Estate Red 2011
  • Best Dessert Wine Fortified - Nuy Wit Muskadel 2007
  • Best Museum Class Chardonnay - Nuy Chardonnay 2009 (Museum Class)
  • Best Niche Red Variety - KWV The Mentors Petit Verdot 2011
  • Best Pinotage - Diemersfontein Carpe Diem Pinotage Reserve 2011
  • Best Red Blend - Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2010
  • Best Sauvignon Blanc - Jordan The Outlier Sauvignon Blanc 2012 - wooded
  • Best Sauvignon Blanc Museum Class - KWV The Mentors Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (Museum Class)
  • Best Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Blend - Delaire Graff Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Reserve 2011
  • Best Shiraz - Stark-Condé Three Pines Syrah
  • Best Shiraz-based Blend - Eikendal Charisma 2011 Shiraz-based Blend

  • Asara Wine Estate - Asara Vineyard Collection Shiraz 2010
  • Ashton Kelder - Roodewal 2011
  • Delheim - Delheim Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
  • Flagstone Wines - Flagstone Free Run - Elim Reserve 2011
  • Graham Beck Wines - Graham Beck Bowed Head Chenin Blanc 2011
  • Hillcrest Estate - Hillcrest Estate Hornfels 2011
  • KWV - KWV Abraham Perold Insignis 2011
  • MAN Vintners - MAN Vintners Chardonnay 2006 (Museum Class)
  • Nederburg Wines - Nederburg Private Bin Eminence 2008
  • Nederburg Wines - Nederburg Winemaster's Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2012
  • Paul Cluver Wines - Paul Cluver Chardonnay 2011
  • Rustenberg Wines - Rustenberg Stellenbosch Shiraz 2011
  • Simonsig Estate - Simonsig Woolworths Exclusive Selection Chenin Blanc "Sur Lie" 2012
A full set of results including the silver and bronze medals and a transcript of the judges’ feedback session are available on  www.trophywineshow.co.za.

* Chartered accountants PKF monitored the judging procedures at the 2013 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show and audited the competition results. Throughout the judging the identity of the wines was withheld from all the tasters, including the Show Chairman.  No one judge was in a position to impose a result upon a majority of the panellists and declarations of interest have been received from all the judges as well as the associate judges.

2013 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show Public Tastings

105 Trophy, Gold and Silver and some Museum Class medal winning wines will be presented at public tastings:
  • Johannesburg: Friday 7 June 2013 | 18h00 to 21h00 – Sandton Convention Centre (Bill Gallagher Room)
  • Cape Town:  Thursday 13 June 2013 | 17h00 to 20h30 – CTICC Ballroom East
Ticket Sales: Tickets from Computicket and (subject to availability) at the door, R150 per person.
www.computicket.com or call 0861 915 8000.
Wine Sales: Wines can be ordered via MAKRO at the shows, with delivery to your door.
Follow us on Facebook or Twitter: #omtws2013 ; @omtrophywines
For more Photos - click HERE

Issued on behalf of the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show:
Contact:    Michael Fridjhon | Tel: 011 482 9178 / 083 600 9101 | Email:      mf@reciprocal.co.za
Issued by:    OutSorceress Marketing - Contact: Janice Fridjhon & Alex Mason-Gordon  
Tel: 011 482 5936/5/4 |  083 302 2197 (Janice) and 083 308 1447 (Alex) | Email:    janice@outsorceress.co.za or alex@outsorceress.co.za