Miles brings it home

For the second time in his 18-harvest career at Tokara Wine Estate on Helshoogte Pass in Stellenbosch, Miles Mossop has scooped most successful producer of show at the 2017 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show (OMTWS).

The announcement was made at the awards ceremony at the Mount Nelson Hotel on Tuesday May 30, with Tokara taking the trophy for the best sauvignon blanc semillon blend; a gold medal for the Tokara 2015 Reserve Collection Chardonnay and three bronze medals.

“It’s fantastic,” Mr Mossop said immediately after accepting the trophy. “It’s the second time we’ve won (this award), and I must say, I’m very surprised. We’ve always maintained – and I’m not trying to be gracious here – it really is a massive team effort, and it is good for it to come at the end of my 18-harvest career at Tokara. It’s quite emotional, actually.”

Turning to his impending departure from Tokara – Mr Mossop will leave at the end of May next year after the 2018 harvest to make his own label wine range, Saskia – he reflected on his time at Tokara.

“I’ve been part of a big family there, so I really will miss it. I am looking forward to the challenge and everything that it will bring, but it’s going to be very difficult to not be part of what Tokara is all about.” Mr Mossop added that he will consult to Tokara after his departure for a time.

Mr Mossop also presented the Tony Mossop Trophy, named in honour of his late father, for the best Cape Port to Boplaas Wines for its 2015 Cape Vintage Reserve.

This year, several trophies for the best wines in particular classes went to wines from areas which were, until recently, never considered high quality wine producing regions.

Most notable were Ian Sieg’s 2015 Landzicht Cabernet Sauvignon from the Northern Cape cellar, and Margaux Nel’s 2015 De Krans Trintonia red blend, made entirely from traditional Portuguese port varietals, from a producer that in the past has regularly won the top Port awards.

Hot on Tokara’s heels was Buitenverwachting with its 2014 Meifort winning the Riedel trophy for the best Bordeaux-style red blend while the 2014 Buitenverwachting ‘1769’won the trophy for the show’s best dessert wine.

DeMorgenzon’s 2016 Reserve Chardonnay scooped three trophies – the Old Metal Trophy for best white wine overall, the Miele Trophy for best chardonnay and the International Judges Trophy.

Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards snagged the Makro Best Shiraz Trophy with its 2014 Heritage Syrah, as well as the Old Mutual Trophy for best red wine overall.

Paul Wallace’s 2015 Brave Heart Pinot Noir from Elgin won the best pinot noir trophy, Constantia Uitsig took the Cap Classique trophy, and Stellenbosch Vineyards took the best niche white varietal trophy with its 2015 Credo Limited Release Verdelho.

There were fewer museum class trophies and golds than in previous years, despite a higher percentage entry, suggesting, as Mr Fridjhon said at the industry feedback session: “The past is not as good as the present.”

In 2016 nine museum class golds were awarded, of which six became trophies. This year, amidst a higher trophy and gold medal count overall, there were only three museum class trophies and only four museum class golds out of a turnout of 22 golds and 20 trophies. The Nederburg 2009 Private Bin Edelkeur Chenin Blanc Noble Late Harvest was the top scoring museum class wine and tied with DeMorgenzon’s 2016 Reserve Chardonnay as the highest scoring wine of the show.

Total wines judged were 960, from 198 producers. In addition to the golds and trophies, 135 silver and 460 bronze medals were awarded.