A total of 207 wines were entered for the 2019 Shiraz Challenge of which 36 were shiraz-driven blends, and they came from every wine producing region in the country. This was the 7th running of this competition.
The 12 Shiraz champions for 2019 (pictured above) are (in no particular order):
Babylonstoren Shiraz 2017
Bellingham The Bernard Series Basket Press Syrah 2016
Driehoek Shiraz 2017
Driehoek Shiraz 2016
Flagstone Dark Horse Shiraz 2015
Cathedral Cellar Shiraz 2016
Neethlingshof Shiraz 2015
Quoin Rock Shiraz 2015
Rhebokskloof Black Marble Hill Syrah 2016
Kruger Family Reserve Shiraz 2016 (Stellenview)
Strandveld First Sighting Shiraz 2017
La Cave Shiraz 2017 (Wellington Wines)
The winning Shiraz blends are (in no particular order):
Alvi’s Drift Albertus Viljoen Bismarck 2017
Babylonstoren Babel 2017
Eikendal Charisma 2017
KWV walked off with a special award for having had a winner every year in the competition’s existence.
Commenting on the quality of entries, panel convenor Dr Andy Roediger said the continued pace of year-on-year improvement had impressed the judges. “The wines across the board were of improving quality and it appears the winemakers have got their wood regime right. Very few wines were heavily oaked, a tendency which is being moved away from. It appears that oak from East Europe is overtaking a preference for American, which has resulted in more spicy shiraz styles.
“The latest vintages have a sweeter fruit tone to them. The wine styles are more approachable at an early age. The wines are elegant, showing fruit purity with balanced oaking,” added Dr Roediger, a Cape Wine Master who has chaired the Shiraz Challenge panel for six years.
Shiraz is among South Africa’s most widely planted varieties with the country being one of the biggest global growers too. Shiraz SA was established in 2008 and is the largest cultivar organisation with over 230 members.
The winning wines are available for purchase as a set of 12 bottles through the online wine portal www.cybercellar.com.
For more information, visit www.ShirazSA.co.za. Be part of the conversation and follow Shiraz SA on Twitter @Shiraz_SA Instagram/Facebook (ShirazSouthAfrica).