Friday, 6 December, 2013
SAWi Media - Brett Garner
The South African Wine Index (SAWi) acknowledged South African wine excellence at its gala awards event,on 3 December 2013, held at the luxurious Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, who also sponsored the event.
Having spent the afternoon at leisure on the reserve, indulging in the luxuries of the Grootbos Estate, guests, producers and wine makers were treated to a tasting of the winning wines before the presentation of the awards.The event was once again a showcase of the best of the best South African ‘classic wines’ – yet again highlighting the value of the SAWi principles and methodology.

Taking top honors on the night were Cederberg Private Cellar,and Bouchard Finlayson, from the Hemel-en-Aarde wine valley. Winemaker David Nieuwoudt was acknowledged as the 2013 SAWi Winemaker of the Year. 

The Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay won the SAWi White Wine of the Year Trophy for a second time.

The Rijks Private Cellar Pinotage and Saronsberg’s Full Circle jointly received the SAWi Red Wine of the Year Trophy; Rijks for the fourth time in a row. Both wines were a mere fraction of a point ahead of the Kanonkop Paul Sauer, in second place.

The SAWi wine judging methodology is based on the combined results a wine has achieved over a number of years,in any of 54 different multi-national wine competitions, with the quality adjudication taken over multi-vintages. Consistency in results, Top 10 mentions and trophies are also taken into account during these calculations.

SAWi Platinum is the highest accolade that may be achieved by any wine. A score of 95+, out of a possible 100, will secure this award.This is followed by Grand Gold at 93 to 94 and Gold at 90 to 92 points. No score below this attracts any accolades,ensuring that SAWi decorations are aspirational and really the cream of the crop.

Since the start of the SAWi Ratings four years ago, only 32 wines out of a total of 782which were rated have scored 95+ points, with repeated good performances by the majority of these wines.

This year, SAWi welcomed a number of new wineries to its honours list, including Constantia Glen, Cape Chamonix, De Morgenzon, De Trafford, Sumaridge and Joubert Tradouw.

2013 Platinum, Grand Gold en Top Cellar Awards
KWV and Distell each won an impressive 10 awards (including Brandies), followed by Bouchard Finlayson with 9, Saronsberg Cellar with 8, then Rustenberg, Hamilton Russell Vineyards and Cederberg Private Cellar with 6 awards each and 5 for Rijks Private Cellar and Groot Constantia. 

Kanonkop Estate, Cape Chamonix, La Motte, Lomond, Ken Forrester, Paul Cluver, Oak Valley, Jordan Estate, Klein Constantia, De Krans and Fleur du Cap were amongst the wineries which received multiple awards.

Constantia Glen, Groot Constantia, Distell, Kleine Zalze, De Morgenhof, Eagles Nest, Uva Mira, Stellenrust were the other wine cellars which also excelled with multiple honors.

Top Cultivar Awards went to Hamilton Russell Vineyards (Chardonnay), Cederberg Private Cellar (Sauvignon Blanc), Stellenrust (Chenin Blanc Barrel Fermented), Cederberg Private Cellar (Semillon), Saronsberg (Viognier), Rijks Private Cellar (Pinotage), Eagle’s Nest (Shiraz), Bouchard Finlayson & Hamilton Russell Vineyards (jointly for Pinot Noir) and Veenwouden (Merlot).

KWV The Mentors Shiraz, The Mentors Semillon and KWV Vintage White Jerepigo (Platinum), KWV The Mentors Orchestra (Grand Gold).
Distell - Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest (Platinum),Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Limited Release Sauvignon Blanc (Grand Gold) - Lomond Sugarbush Sauvignon Blanc and Lomond Syrah (Grand Gold) - Stellenzicht Golden Triangle Shiraz (Grand Gold).
Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir, Kaaimansgat Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay and Hannibal Sangiovese Pinot Noir Blend, Tete de Cuvee Galpin Peak Pinot Noir (all Platinum), with the Bouchard Finlayson Walker Bay Missionvale Chardonnay (Grand Gold).
Saronsberg Cellar Full Circle Shiraz Blend and Provenance Shiraz (Platinum) and Saronsberg Cellar Shiraz, Provenance Range Red Blend and the Saronsberg Viognier (Grand Gold)
Rustenberg John X Merriman and Five Soldiers Chardonnay(Platinum) with the Peter Barlow, RM Nicholson and Stellenbosch Chardonnay (Grand Gold)
Spier Creative Block Selection Rhone Blend, Spier Private Collection Chardonnay and Spier Private Collection Pinotage (Grand Gold).
Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay and Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir (Platinum)
Rijks Private Cellar Pinotage (Platinum) and Chenin Blanc (Grand Gold)
Kanonkop Estate Paul Sauer(Platinum) and Kanonkop Estate Pinotage Grand Gold
Groot Constantia Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc (Platinum), Gouverneurs Reserve (Grand Gold) 
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Shiraz (Platinum) and Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Grand Gold)
Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay (Platinum and Jordan Estate Chardonnay (Grand Gold)
Cape Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve (Platinum) and Cape Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve (Grand Gold)
Ken Forrester The FMC Chenin Blanc (Platinum) and The Gypsy Shiraz Grenache (Grand Gold)
Klein Constantia Vin de Constance and Klein Constantia Marlbrook Bordeaux Blend (Grand Gold)
Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh Sauvignon Blanc and Cape Point Vineyards Semillon (Grand Gold)
La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Viognier (Platinum) and La Motte Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc (Grand Gold)
Constantia Glen Five Bordeaux Blend, Constantia Glen Three Bordeaux Blend and Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc (Platinum)
Cederberg Private Cellar Sauvignon Blanc, Cederberg Private Cellar Ghost Corner Elim Sauvignon Blanc, Cederberg Private Cellar Ghost Corner Semillon and Cederberg Private Cellar Teen die Hoog Shiraz (Platinum)
Eagles' Nest Shiraz (Platinum)
Oak Valley Elgin Pinot Noir (Platinum) and Oak Valley Elgin Chardonnay (Grand Gold)
Paul Cluver Elgin Chardonnay (Platinum), Paul Cluver Elgin Seven Flags Pinot Noir, Paul Cluver Elgin Riesling and Paul Cluver Riesling Noble Late Harvest (Grand Gold)
Creation Wines Syrah Grenache (Platinum), Viognier (Grand Gold) and Pinot Noir(Grand Gold)
Wildekrans Barrel Select Pinotage (Platinum) and Wildekrans Barrel Select Shiraz (Grand Gold)
Doolhof The Minotaur Cape Blend and Doolhof Signatures of Doolhof Pinotage (Grand Gold)
Diemersdal Pinotage Reserve (Platinum)Diemersdal Pinotage (Grand Gold)
Uva Mira Single Vineyard Chardonnay (Platinum)
Stellenrust 47 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc (Platinum)
Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage (Grand Gold)
De Morgenzon Chenin Blanc Reserve (Grand Gold)
Glenwood Vignerons Selection Chardonnay (Grand Gold)
Veenwouden Merlot. 

Top Fortified Wines
De Krans Cape Tawny Port (Platinum) and De Krans Vintage Reserve Port (Grand Gold). KWV Cape Tawny Port (Grand Gold) and Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve Port (Grand Gold).

Top Brandies 
South Africa’s brandies were at the top of their game. 
Van Ryn’s 12 year Old Distiller's ReserveBrandy, (Platinum), Van Ryn’s15-year Old Fine Cask Reserve Brandy and Van Ryn’s 10 Year Old Vintage Brandy (Grand Gold). KWV 20-Year Old Brandy (Platinum), with Laborie Alambic and KWV 15-year Old Brandy (Grand Gold).

Wine Legend
Peter Finlayson was honored as the SAWi Wine Legend of the Year.
Peter’s contribution to the global profile of South African wines has made Peter a true pioneer in the South African Wine industry.