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Top achievers for Nederburg auction

Nearly half of the 156 wines selected for the 32nd Nederburg Auction have already run the gauntlet at local and international wine shows, as well as attaining coveted listings on airlines or five-star ratings in respected wine guides such as the John Platter.

"While there has been increasing cynicism in the retail trade about whether industry awards or the distinctive 'sold at the Nederburg Auction' sticker do boost the product’s shelf appeal and consumer sales, most winemakers realise it is yet another way of ensuring that their wines stand out. It’s clear that the 60 tasters on the selection panel know their business!" said Duimpie Bayly, who headed one of the tasting panels, and is a consultant to the Nederburg Auction.

The Auction also serves as a showcase for the talents of local winemakers, many of whom have been designated Diners Club winemakers of the year – among others, Carl Schultz of Hartenberg, Jeff Grier of Villiera, Daniël de Waal of DeWaal Wines/Uiterwyk, Danie Malan of Allesverloren, Danie de Wet of De Wetshof, who was also voted Wine Personality of the Year in 2004 by the Institute of Cape Wine Masters – and not forgetting the up and coming such as Groot Constantia’s cellarmaster Boela Gerber, named Diners Club Young Winemaker of the Year in 2002.

Globally Altus le Roux of Boland Cellars was designated the world’s winemaker of the year at the 2001 International Wine and Spirit Competition, following in the footsteps of Nederburg’s former cellarmaster, Günter Brözel, who was so honoured in 1985.

In the Chardonnay line-up there are three double gold Veritas award winners – the Jordan Nine Yards 2003, also one of only 17 wines to achieve five-star status in the 2005 Platter wine guide - and the Weltevrede Chardonnay 2001 and the Weltevrede Oude Weltevreden Chardonnay 2001, both rated four stars in the 2002 John Platter SA Wine Guide.

The Old Vines Vintage Brut 2001 was a gold winner at the Michelangelo International Wine Awards last year, as were the Rijk’s Private Cellar Chenin Blanc 2003 in 2004, the Beaumont Ariane 2001 in 2003, the Kaapzicht Bin3 Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 in 2002, and the Rijk’s Private Cellar Pinotage 2000 and the Shiraz 2000 in 2001.

Three of the Chenin Blanc wines on offer are gold medal winners: Ken Forrester’s Chenin Blanc 2003 shone at the Rendezvous du Chenin – Abbaye de Fontevraud; the Kleine Zalze Cellar Selection Chenin Blanc Bush Vines 2004 at the 2004 SA Young Wine Show; and Rijk’s Private Cellar Chenin Blanc 2003, struck gold at the 2004 Michelangelo International Wine Awards.

Other top-notch wines include the Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir 2001, rated among the top 100 red wines in the world and five stars in Platter, while Môreson Pinotage 2000 was judged the best young red wine in 2000 and made it to the ABSA Top Ten Pinotage Award Winners in 2001.

The Graham Beck The Ridge Syrah 2000 was a trophy winner for the best Shiraz/Syrah at the London International Wine Challenge in 2003; the Neil Ellis Shiraz 1998 won the Wine of the Millennium Award; and the Rust en Vrede Estate Wine 1998 was one of the Top 100 wines of the world for four years running.

On the sweet and sticky side, the Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 1999 was rated five stars in the 2003 John Platter SA Wine Guide and the 2001 vintage of the same name was selected as the best SA Port in Wine Magazine, while De Krans Vintage Reserve Port 1997 won the trophy for the Best Port Museum Class at the 2005 Fairbairn Capital Trophy Wine Show, with a score of 95 points.

Two high-flyers on auction were selected for the SAA First Class winelist - the five-star double gold medal winner, Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1997 and the Nitida Sauvignon Blanc 2003 - while the Boland Pinotage 1999 gained a gold listing with Air France.

For more information on the Nederburg Auction and more of the award-winning wines, visit the website www.nederburg.co.za and link to the Nederburg Auction.

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