Wine challenge winners announced

All the winners of the Paarl Wine Challenge: at back, from left, are Handré Barkhuysen, Boland Cellar; Kobus van der Merwe, KWV; Hans Britz, Under Oaks; Phillip Theron, Glen Carlou; Jacques Lategan, Domaine Bramhs; and Warren Blaire, Multi-Color Corporation. In front, are Klaas Stoffberg, Babylonstoren; Melvin Augus , Babylonstoren; Dani Brown, Landskroon; Bernard Nicholls, Mitres Edge; and Zoyon Le Seuer, Multi-Color Corporation.

Babylonstoren and Boland Cellar walked off with the trophies for top red and top white respectively at the recently held Paarl Wine Challenge.

This regional wine challenge has been showcasing the quality and terroir of the region for over two decades and has evolved into a new format that included nine different categories this year.

Charles Hopkins convened the panel of judges, which included Winnie Bowman, Altus le Roux, Jean-Mari de Villiers as well as Christo Pienaar and specifically commented on the unique diversity of the wines the panel tasted.

The eligible categories included chenin blanc, chardonnay, other white cultivars, white blends, pinotage, shiraz, cabernet cauvignon, other red cultivars and red blends.

“It was evident what a difference 20km radius can make and how specific soils can influence the wine produced,” said Mr Hopkins.

Babylonstoren got the thumbs up for its 2016 Nebukadneser Bordeaux blend.

Winemaker Klaas Stoffberg was pleased with this result, specifically since Babylonstoren is a fairly young producer. 

“We only started making wine in 2011 and this is a great way to measure ourselves against the adjacent farms.

“We feel it is important to enter a regional competition such as Paarl Wine Challenge and it is obviously a great achievement for the team.”

Boland Cellar took the trophy for its One Formation white blend.  Winemaker Handré Barkhuysen said their philosophy is to let the terroir and vineyards express themselves through the wine with a reductive approach in the cellar and a strong focus on the blending aspect.

The top 12 entries in alphabetical order were:

Babylonstoren Nebukadneser 2016

Babylonstoren Shiraz 2016

Boland Cellar One Formation 2018

Brahms Shiraz 2010

Glen Carlou The Curator’s Collection Malbec 2017

KWV The Mentor Chenin Blanc 2017

Mitre’s Edge Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Perdeberg The Dry Land Collection Resolve Pinotage 2015

Perdeberg The Vineyard Collection Cinsault 2017

Perdeberg The Dry Land Collection Courageous Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2017

Under Oaks Just B 2015

Landskroon Paul de Villiers Merlot