Domaine des Dieux from Hemel en Aarde Valley Takes Top Spot at Amorim Cap Classique Challenge

Friday, 19 September, 2014
Amorim Cap Classique Challenge
Domaine des Dieux, the boutique wine producer in the Hemel en Aarde Valley near Hermanus, was crowned as South Africa’s best Cap Classique exponent at this year’s Amorim Cap Classique Challenge.

The Domaine des Dieux Claudia Brut MCC 2009, a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, won the category for Best Brut Blend as well as Best Producer having achieved the highest score of all the 101 wines entered into the 2014 version of the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge.

The only competition committed exclusively to the Cap Classique category, the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge is sponsored by Portuguese-based cork company Amorim. This was the 14th year South Africa’s producers of bottle-fermented sparkling wine took part in this popular competition.

Graham Beck Wines from Robertson, one of the country’s leading Cap Classique wineries, dominated the competition’s Rosé Category, winning the Vintage department with the Graham Beck Rosé 2009 as well as delivering the Best Non-Vintage with the Graham Beck Rosé.

In the category for Best Blanc de Blancs, Cap Classique made from Chardonnay, Laborie’s MCC Blanc de Blancs 2010 won for Best Vintage, with Colmant Brut Chardonnay taking the Non-Vintage award.

Along with Graham Beck the Robertson region produced another Amorim Challenge winner with Lord’s winning the Non-Vintage Blended Brut Category with its Lord’s MCC.

Iconic Cap Classique producer Simonsig Estate from Stellenbosch won the Museum Class with its Kaapse Vonkel 2004.

Chairman of the judging panel Allan Mullins said that this year’s wines were more consistent and showed growing confidence in the overall production of Cap Classique.

“Previously there had been a higher percentage of poor wines due to inexperience both in vine selection and in the cellar. This year’s competition emphasised wines that were of a higher quality and this consistency bodes well for the future of Cap Classique.”

However, Mullins also said that unlike last year’s Cap Classique Challenge, fewer bottle-aged wines were entered and the complexity and depth of wines with a bit of time on their side were missed.

Joaquim Sa, MD of Amorim South Africa said the country’s wine industry can justifiably feel proud of its Cap Classique category.

“As a cork producer, Amorim believes that a natural cork adds value to a bottle of wine by endorsing the product with a closure that represents tradition and quality. This is what Cap Classique does for the South African wine industry: it adds value,” said Sa.

“To have a sector of diverse and expressive Cap Classique sparkling wines to add to the exciting offerings of the South African wine industry is indeed a privilege. Cap Classique is vibrant, it appeals to all wine lovers and the number of exciting producers making this product of exceptional quality is something the wine industry should be immensely proud of.”

“The quality of product and the excitement of the category add value to the image of the South African wine industry, and here we have to thank the pioneers who created Cap Classique over 40 years ago as well as the passionate and headstrong pursuers of excellence who built the category to what it is today. Amorim is immensely proud to be associated with the product and its people who add value to the lovely everyday pleasure that is wine.”

This year’s Amorim Cap Classique Challenge was judged by Mullins, retailer Mark Norrish, Wayve Kolevsohn, sommelier at the Test Kitchen, consultant Winnie Bowman and wine writers Neil Pendock, Cathy Marston and Christian Eedes.