Atkin Report Underscores Chamonix’s Ethos of Excellence through Diversity

Tuesday, 15 September, 2020
Chamonix Wine Estate
Chamonix Wine Estate in Franschhoek’s nine 90pt plus scores achieved in this year’s Special Report on South African wine by leading critic Tim Atkin MW underscores the estate’s strive towards consistency and focus in each bottle of wine leaving the winery for the market-place.

According to Chamonix winemaker Neil Bruwer, this year’s stunning showing in Atkin’s highly regarded report affirms his belief that if you are going to be an all-rounder, you need to be good in all those rounds.

“One of the South African wine industry’s unique features is the diversity of grape varieties and wine styles found within the borders of one farm,” says Bruwer. “This is the case at Chamonix where we make wines from such varied grapes as Chardonnay to Pinot Noir, and Pinotage to Cabernet Franc. In having such a broad spectrum of grapes, it is both challenging to strive to consistent quality throughout the wine offering. The nine top ratings for our wines from Atkin is recognition for Chamonix’s exceptional terroir in the Franschhoek mountains and the commitment of the cellar team that gives expression to this selection of fruit. It also confirms our vision of premium excellence through diversity of offering.”

In this year’s Atkin report, Chamonix achieved 90pt plus scores for: Troika Reserve Bordeaux Blend 2017 (94pts), Pinot Noir Reserve 2018 (93pts), Chardonnay Reserve 2018 (93pts) , Cabernet Franc 2018 (93pts), Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2020 (93pts), Greywacke Pinotage 2017 (93pts), Reserve White 2018 (92pts), Chardonnay 2018 (92pts) and Feldspar Pinot Noir 2018 (90pts).

The report also placed Chamonix in the Third Growth Classification for Cape wines.

For this year’s Special Report on South Africa Atkin tasted over 1 300 wines, describing South Africa as “the most exciting wine country in the world” and stating that the general wine quality was better than ever in its history.

“Being known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, we are really pleased at the ratings these wines accrued from Atkin, who is one of the world’s top authorities on Burgundy, the ancestral home of these two varieties,” says Bruwer. “We believe that the expression of our Franschhoek mountain vineyard terroir in these cultivars is truly unique and believe the Atkin ratings vindicates this.”

Bruwer says the 94pts for Chamonix’s Troika red Bordeaux blend was a true surprise. “Bordeaux blends are known as some of the Cape’s greatest wine offerings in general, and to feature among these is a real honour for us,” he says. “And seeing our new baby, the Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2020 which was made for the first time this year garner 93pts is very rewarding, as is the case whenever one invests in a new project.”

Stefan van Rooyen, CEO of Chamonix, says the Atkin ratings are not only important in highlighting the achievements of individual producers, but for the South African wine industry as a whole.

“In the eight years of committing to this intense scrutiny of South African wines Atkin has gained a reputation for being a leading authority on Cape wines, as well as being a critic of international standing,” says Van Rooyen. “His reports go a long way in getting the message to the world that South African wines are world-class and belong to be seen in the same premium category as the other great wine nations of the world.”

Stefan van Rooyen, left, CEO of Chamonix and winemaker Neil Bruwer
Stefan van Rooyen, left, CEO of Chamonix and winemaker Neil Bruwer

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