SA’s top single varietal wines, blends and rosé from shiraz announced

“The overall quality in the shiraz category was extremely high and accommodated all the different styles, such as pepper-dominated, fruit-driven and spicy. Here the younger vintages of 2017 to 2019 actually outclassed the much talked-about vintage of 2015,” says Edmund Terblanche, Chairman of Shiraz SA and a member of the panel for the 8th annual Shiraz Challenge.

The 12 shiraz champions for 2020 are (in no particular order):

·         Koelfontein Shiraz 2017 ·         Kunjani Shiraz 2015
·         Benguela Cove Estate Syrah 2018 ·         Saronsberg Shiraz 2018
·         Trizanne Reserve Syrah 2018 ·         Flagstone Dark Horse Shiraz 2016
·         Babylonstoren Shiraz 2018 ·         Lomond Estate Syrah 2018
·         De Grendel Elim Shiraz 2018

·         Old Road Wine Co Pepper Wind Syrah 2017

·         Wildeberg Red (Boutinot)

·         Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards Heritage Syrah

The runners-up in this category are:

La Motte Pierneef Syrah Viognier 2017

Bloemendal Tierberg Syrah 2014

Rust en Vrede Estate Vineyards Syrah 2017

De Grendel Shiraz 2016

Alto Shiraz 2017

Rickety Bridge Shiraz 2017

Benguela Cove Lighthouse Syrah 2018

Stellenview Cape Five Reserve Shiraz 2017


The winning shiraz-driven blends are:

  • Saronsberg Full Circle 2018
  • Babylonstoren Babel 2018
  • Strandveld The Navigator 2017

Lomond’s Belladonna SMV 2018, Idiom’s SMV 2015 and KWV’s Roodeberg Dr Charles Niehaus 2016 were  the finalists pipped at the post in the blend category.

This year a new category for Shiraz Rosé was introduced and the Stellenbosch Hills Polkadraai Rosé 2020 was announced as the winning wine. Zandvliet’s Shiraz Rosé 2020 joined Kleinood Katherien Rosé 2019 as runners-up in this category.

“Although the number of rosé wines entered was fairly low, we expect it to grow in the future as this is a style of wine that is fast gathering popularity the world over,” said Terblanche.

Panel convenor and Cape Wine Master, Dr Andy Roediger, remarked that the wines entered in this category were all dry and elegant with little variance in their light blush colour. The wines displayed subtle red fruit with slight spicy undertones and were full of vibrant character.

“The shiraz blends were very well harmonized and did not allow other varieties to dominate in character as sometimes in the past. In general the wines were well-structured with good wood management. Surprisingly the older vintages took centre stage, showing shiraz blends can also age gracefully,” according to Roediger.

Shiraz SA, established in 2008, is currently the largest cultivar organisation with over 230 members. It represents producers of South African shiraz and its aim is to create awareness of the superior and award-winning wines produced locally from this noble variety.


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