The Cape's sought after red wines

Thursday, 30 September, 2004
ML Communications
The presentation package of the top ten Pinotage wines selected at the annual Absa Top 10 Pinotage Competition has proved to be one of the Cape's most sought after wine items. A case of the 2003 Absa Top 10 Pinotage wines were sold for a record amount of R20 000 at this bank group's annual charity wine auction in Cape Town.

A consortium of attorneys and auditors competed for these top 10 Pinotages and the final bid was closed on Alon Kowen Auction Alliance. Wine cellars donated more than a thousand bottles of wine for the auction and in total R229 200 were raised, which will be allocated to disadvantaged people in the rural areas.

This limelight on the Absa Top 10 Pinotage wines came at a very appropriate time after a total of 90 wines were entered this year for the 2004 Absa Top 10 Pinotage Competition. It represents a 14% growth on the annual average number of entries since the first competition in 1997.

There is high anticipation among wine cellars and wine lovers for the results of the competition, which will be announced on 14 October during a luncheon at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town.

The Absa Top 10 Pinotage is the only wine competition in South Africa in which the top ten wines of a specific variety are selected instead of awarding medals to all entries. At least 2 400 bottles of each wine entered for the Top 10 competition must be available for sale on the premises of the producer when the results are announced.

The entries were judged this month by a panel of wine experts and there was consensus that the quality was excellent. Members of the panel were Duimpie Bayly (convener), Peter May (wine writer from England and honourary member of the Pinotage Association), Neil Pendock (wine writer), Charl Theron (wine consultant and previously head of production at KWV), Mike Louw (wine consultant), Jenny Ratcliff (Cape Wine Master) and Dave Hughes (international wine judge from South Africa).

According to Peter May, who is also the founder and chairman of the Pinotage Club in England, the overall quality of all the entries was very high and it was difficult to narrow it down to the twenty finalists. After that it was even more difficult to separate the ten winning wines.

"In my opinion it is a very good thing that there were a variety of styles among these high quality Pinotage wines, you can compare it to the various Zinfandel wines in California. All of the styles can be appealing and successful, but in the long term the market will determine which styles of Pinotage are the most popular among the wine lovers," says Peter.

Released by ML Communications on behalf of Pinotage Association.

For more information, contact Marius Labuschagne at:
tel: 021-981 8546