2014 SAWi Wine Excellence Awards

Wednesday, 25 June, 2014
Acknowledging the exceptional craft of the winemaker.

The South African Wine Index (SAWi) once again acknowledged South African wine excellence at its gala awards event, on 21 June 2014, held at the luxurious Grootbos Private Nature Reserve near Gansbaai. Grootbos not only sponsored the event but also entered into a partnership with SAWi to exclusively offer the complete range of the ‘SAWi Grand Wines Collection’ (wines scoring 93+ points through the unique SAWi Algorithm of Excellence) at this world renowned Reserve.

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 during the evening. The event was a showcase of South African ‘Grand Wines’ – highlighting the value of the SAWi principles and methodology.

Constantia Glen took top honors on the night, receiving the SAWi Trophy for Wine Producer of the Year with Justin van Wyk (Winemaker) and Ettiene Southey (Vineyard Manager) and his team acknowledged as top achievers for 2014.

De Morgenzon received the 2014 SAWi Trophy for White Wine Producer of the Year. The Trophy for the 2014 SAWi Red Wine Producer of the Year went to Kanonkop Estate, also from Stellenbosch. 

The inaugural Trophy for Best South African Brandy Producer was awarded to KWV.

Chardonnay dominated, with 17 accolades, followed by Shiraz wines with 12, Sauvignon Blanc and Bordeaux Blends with 10 each, Pinotage 8, Pinot Noir 6 and Red Blends 5.

Hemel and Aarde Valley had 14 wine accolades, followed by Constantia with 10 and Tulbach with 7, whilst Elgin, Franshhoek, Paarl, Stellenbosch Kloof, Blaauwklippen and Idas Valley had 5 each. Wines from Stellenbosch West, , Blaauwklippen, Cederberg, Somerset West, Franshhoek and Durbanville made up the rest.

Once again, outlying wine pockets like Cederberg, Tulbach, and even Barrydale featured prominently.

The SAWi wine judging Algorithm of Excellence (Arabic tenfold system) is based on the combined results a wine has achieved over multi vintages in any of 84 different multi-national wine competitions or reviews (each weighted according to the compilation of judging panels and the number of medals on offer).

Consistency in results, top 10 mentions and trophies won are also taken into account during these calculations. As such, a wine is not judged on one occasion only but its consistency is tracked over a period and built out to a 10 year quality window.

SAWi Platinum is the highest accolade that may be achieved by any single wine. A score of 95 or more, out of a possible 100, will secure this award. These wines are referred to as the ‘SAWI Ambassadors Club’ the top end of the ‘SAWi Grand Wines Collection’ which also include wines which received Grand Gold status for scoring 93 and 94. 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 914 which were rated have scored 95+ points, with repeated good performances by the majority of these wines. This year another 13 wines were added to this category.

SAWi also welcomed a number of new wineries to its honors list in 2014, including Constantia Glen, De Morgenzon, De Grendel and Journeys End Vineyards.


Top scoring wines

99 points - Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay, Saronsberg Cellar Full Circle, Rijks Private Cellar Pinotage and Kanonkop Estate Paul Sauer

98 points - Eagles' Nest Shiraz and Stellenrust Wine Estate "48" Chenin Blanc

97 points - Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir, Diemersdal Wine Estate Pinotage Reserve, Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir, Spier Wines Creative Block 3 Rhone Blend and KWV The Mentors Shiraz and Raats Mvemve Raats de Compostella Bordeaux Blend.

Top Wine Producers

Constantia Glen
Kanonkop Estate
Groot Constantia
Bouchard Finlayson
De Morgenzon
Hamilton Russell Vineyards
Rustenburg Wines
De Grendel
Cederberg Private Cellar
Joubert Tradouw
Cape Chamonix
Eagles Nest
Raats Family Wines
Top Chardonnay: Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay
Top Sauvignon Blanc: Groot Constantia Estate Sauvignon Blanc
Top Chenin Blanc: Stellenrust 47 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc
Top Semillon: Cederberg Private Cellar Ghost Corner Semillon
Top Viognier: Saronsberg Cellar Viognier
Top Pinotage: Rijks Private Cellar Pinotage
Top Shiraz: Eagle’s Nest Shiraz
Top Merlot: Journeys End Vineyards Merlot
Top Pinot Noir: Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir
Top Rhone Blend: Saronsberg Full Circle Shiraz Mourvedre Viognier
Top Red Blend (other): Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal Sangiovese Pinot Noir
Top Bordeaux Blend: Kanonkop Estate Paul Sauer Cabernet Franc Merlot
Top Brandy: KWV 20 Year Old Brandy
Top Cape Port: De Krans Cape Tawny Port
Top Dessert Wine: Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest
Top Fortified Wine: KWV Vintage White Jerepigo
Top Méthode Cap Classique: ‘Pongrảcz Deciderius’ Pinot Noir Chardonnay

2014 Platinum and Grand Gold Awards

Bouchard Finlayson and Cederberg Private Cellar (trophy winners in 2013) once again won most awards, followed by Groot Constantia Estate, Constantia Glen, Hamilton Russell Vineyards and Kanonkop Estate, while KWV, De Grendel Wines, Rustenberg and Creation received at least four awards each.

Full results

Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage (Platinum)

Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir, Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal Sangiovese Pinot Noir Shiraz Mourvedre Nebbiolo, Barbera, Bouchard Finlayson Kaaimansgat Crocodile's Lair Chardonnay and

Bouchard Finlayson Tete de Cuvee Galpin Peak Pinot Noir (Platinum) and the Bouchard Finlayson Walker Bay Missionvale Chardonnay (Grand Gold)

Cape Chamonix Wine Farm Chardonnay Reserve and Cape Chamonix Wine Farm Pinot Noir Reserve (Platinum) and Cape Wine Farm Chamonix Sauvignon Blanc Reserve (Grand Gold)

Cederberg Private Cellar Ghost Corner Sauvignon Blanc , Cederberg Private Cellar Sauvignon Blanc

Cederberg Private Cellar Ghost Corner Semillon and Cederberg Teen Die Hoog Shiraz CWG (Platinum)

Constantia Glen Five Merlot Cabernet Malbec Cab Franc Petit Verdot, Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc

and Constantia Glen Three Cabernet Sauvignon Cab Franc Merlot (Platinum)

Creation Syrah Grenache (Platinum), Creation Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot, Creation Pinot Noir and Creation Viognier (Grand Gold)

De Grendel Wines Shiraz (Platinum) and De Grendel Wines Winifred Viognier Semillon Chardonnay, De Grendel Sauvignon Blanc, De Grendel Wines Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc (Grand Gold)

DeMorgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc (Platinum), DeMorgenzon Maestro White and DeMorgenzon Sauvignon Blanc (Grand Gold)

Diemersdal Pinotage Reserve (Platinum) and Diemersdal 8 Rows Sauvignon Blanc (Grand Gold)

Doolhof Signatures of Doolhof Pinotage and Doolhof The Minotaur Pinotage Malbec Merlot Shiraz Cab S Petit Verdot (Grand Gold)

Eagles' Nest Shiraz – (Platinum)

Glenwood Vignerons Selection Chardonnay (Grand Gold)

Groot Constantia Gouverneurs Chardonnay, Groot Constantia Gouverneurs Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cab Franc Malbec, Groot Constantia Sauvignon Blanc, Groot Constantia Shiraz (Platinum) and Groot Constantia Gouverneurs Reserve White (Grand Gold)

Hamilton Russel Chardonnay and Hamilton Russel Pinot Noir (Platinum)

Southern Right Pinotage and Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc (Grand Gold)

Jordan Estate Nine Yards Chardonnay and Jordan Estate The Real McCoy Riesling (Platinum)

Joubert Tradouw Chardonnay & Joubert Tradouw Syrah – (Grand Gold)

Journeys End Vineyards Chardonnay (Platinum) and Journeys End Vineyards Merlot (Grand Gold)

Kanonkop Paul Sauer Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc Merlot, Kanonkop Pinotage (Platinum) and

Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon (Grand Gold)

Ken Forrester The FMC Chenin Blanc (Platinum) and Ken Forrester The Gypsy Shiraz Grenache (Grand Gold)

Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc , Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Shiraz (Platinum) and Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Barrel Fermented Chardonnay (Grand Gold)

KWV Mentors Chardonnay & KWV Mentors Shiraz (Platinum) and KWV Mentors Pinotage, KWV Orchestra Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec Merlot Cab Franc Shiraz (Grand Gold)

Klein Constantia Marlbrook Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cab Franc Petit Verdot Malbec (Grand Gold)

La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Viognier (Platinum)

Lomond Sugarbush Sauvignon Blanc and Lomond Syrah (Grand Gold)

Oak Valley Elgin Pinot Noir (Platinum) and Oak Valley Elgin Chardonnay (Grand Gold)

Paul Cluver Chardonnay (Platinum) and Paul Cluver Seven Flags Pinot Noir & Paul Cluver Weisser Riesling

(Grand Gold)

Raats Mvemve Raats de Compostella Bordeaux Blend and Raats Family Wines Original Chenin Blanc (Platinum)

Raka Biography Shiraz (Grand Gold)

Stellenzicht Golden Triangle Shiraz (Grand Gold)

Rijks Private Cellar Pinotage – Platinum and Rijks Chenin Blanc (Grand Gold)

Rustenberg Wines Five Soldiers Chardonnay, Rustenberg Wines John X Merriman Cab Sauvignon Merlot Cab Franc Petit Verdot (Platinum) and Rustenberg Wines Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon, Rustenberg Wines RM Nicholson Cabernet Shiraz Petit Cab Franc Verdot Malbec and Rustenberg Wines Stellenbosch Chardonnay (Grand Gold)

Saronsberg Full Circle Shiraz Mourvedre Viognier, Saronsberg Provenance Range Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Malbec Petit Verdot, Saronsberg Provenance Range Shiraz, Saronsberg Shiraz (Platinum) and

Saronsberg Viognier (Grand Gold)

Spier Creative Block Selection Rhone Blend Shiraz Mourvedre Viognier (Platinum) and Spier Private Collection Chardonnay, Spier Private Collection Pinotage (Grand Gold)

Stellenrust "47" Chenin Blanc Barrel Fermented (Platinum)

Veenwouden Merlot (Grand Gold)

Wildekrans Pinotage Barrel Select Reserve (Platinum) and Wildekrans Shiraz Barrel Select Reserve (Grand Gold)

Top Fortified Wines

De Krans Cape Tawny Port (Platinum). 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 15-year Old Fine Cask Reserve Brandy (Platinum) and 12 year Old Distiller's Reserve Brandy & Van Ryn’s 15 Year Old Vintage Brandy (Grand Gold). KWV 20-Year Old Brandy and Laborie Alambic Brandy (Platinum).

Wine Legend

Beyers Truter was honored as the SAWi Wine Legend of the Year and joined Hempies du Toit, Jan Boland Coetzee and Peter Finlayson on this honors roll. His contribution to the global profile of South African wines has made Beyers a true pioneer in the South Africa wine industry.

For more information about this award-winning private reserve, please go to www.grootbos.com