Blends are a work of art where the winemaker is the artist

Thursday, 8 July, 2021
Red Blend Challenge
The Inaugural Red Blend Challenge recently took place in Edgemead, Cape Town with a reduced panel.

The inaugural Red Blend Challenge took place in Edgemead. The increasing effect of the pandemic continues to be felt and hit close to home as one of the Gauteng based judges was unable to attend. The panel was thus reduced to 4 made up of Sommelier Spencer Fondaumiere as the chair, respected journalists Jono LeFeurve and Malu Lambert and wine maker Praisy Dlamini.

The wines were judged blind using the 100 points scoring system. To keep the playing field as fair as possible no other information was available other than the makeup of the blends were available at the time of judging. In the subsequent panel discussions the basic blend components was available on request. The scoring bands were adjudicated as follows:

  1. 90+ Gold medal
  2. 80-89 Silver medal
  3. 70-79 Bronze medal

There were an encouraging number of entries for these trying times, 46 in total. Cabernet Sauvignon driven blends had the biggest representation with 13 in total, closely followed by Shiraz with 8 and Pinotage with 7. There were also notable interesting blends led by Tannat and Mourvedre. The wines were from a geographically broad spread with wines from the Klein Karoo to Bot River and everything in between.

The overall quality was excellent with no wines being excluded as faulty. Also a very pleasing indicator of the quality was that of the 46 entries 13 were awarded gold a return of 30%.

Judging blends is always challenging as the scope is quite wide with various styles and expressions, but the cream rises to the top regardless and the panel was able to pick out some really excellent wines.

Medalists are listed below in alphabetical order.

Gold medals

Babylonstoren Nebukanesar 2019
Blaauwklippen Die Blaauwe Klip 2017
Druk My Niet T3 2014
Ernie Els Proprietor's Blend 2017
Hillcrest Altantic Slopes Hornfels 2015
Jakkalsvlei Mount Cuvée Cape Blend 2020
Leipzig Grand Master 2018
Lovane Isikhati 2018
Mitre's Edge The Mitre 2017
My Wyn Les Grandes Horizontales 2016
Perdeberg The Dry Land Collection Joseph's Legacy 2018
Silkbush Altitude 2018
Silkbush Hillside Red 2018

Silver medals

Aden's Star 2018
Allée Bleue L'Amour Toujours 2016
Arra Cape Blend 2014
Aslina Umsasane 2019
Babylonstoren Babel 2020
Bergsig Icarus 2017
Bob's Your Uncle Head Over Heels Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot NV
Du Toitskloof Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2019
Du Toitskloof Dimension 2017
Du Toitskloof Pinotage Merlot Ruby Cabernet 2020
Du Toitskloof Quest 2018
Flagstone Dragon Tree Cape Blend 2019
Flagstone Treaty Tree Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec Merlot 2019
Le Pommier Cabernet Franc Malbec 2019
Leipzig Master Blend 2018
Louisvale Boris 2018
Louisvale Dominique 2018
Mountain Ridge Vino Rood 2018
Niel Joubert Cinsaut Grenache 2020
Rhebokskloof The Rhebok 2018
Rosendal Reserve Aquataine 2019
Silver Myn Argentum 2020
Thokozani SMV 2019
Viljoensdrift River Grandeur Cape Blend 2019
Wildekrans Cape Blend 2018
Wildekrans Cape Blend Barrel Select Reserve 2017
Wildekrans Deep Purple 2019