Classic Wine’s Top Six Other Red Blends, Bordeaux-style Blends and Dessert wines

May 23rd, 2014 by karen

Classic Wine May2014

Press Release:

South Africa’s definitive wine publication, Classic Wine, lauded winemakers of the Top Six other Red Blends, Bordeaux-style Blends and Dessert wines from its unsighted, audited category tasting assessments at a presentation awards evening held on 22 May at Cassia Restaurant, Nitida. Top Six recipients also received a trophy, certificate and bottle stickers as an instant visual guide for classic wine-lovers.

The Top Six other Red Blends category tasting yielded 4-Star ratings all round, for Beyerskloof Faith 2010, Fleur du Cap Lazlo 2006, Jordan Chameleon Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2011, Klein Constantia Estate Red Blend 2011, KWV Perold Tributum 2010 and Saronsberg Full Circle 2011.

Chair of the panel Ginette de Fleuriot CWM Vinimark marketing manager commented that, ‘of our Top Six, three of the wines were Cabernet-dominated, two were led by Pinotage and one had Shiraz as the predominant grape. The Cabernet-based blends were rewarding in their display of varietal character – cassis fruit, structure and cedary length and with many offering promise of longevity. On the whole, oaking was well-mastered and few of the wines were dominated by obvious coffee aromas and flavours.’

The Top Six Bordeaux-style blends for Classic Wine also received 4 Stars: the Maestro Red 2011 from DeMorgenzon, Diemersdal Private Collection 2011, Kanu Keystone 2011, Miravel 1952 Family Blend 2010, Rustenberg John X Merriman 2011, and Steenberg Echo Red Blend 2011.

Panellist, CWG member and Haskell’s cellarmaster Rianie Strydom noted, ‘I think that maybe we drink our reds too young – when they are still in their bright, bold, primary fruit phase – so we’re not used to wines that are perhaps showing a bit of maturity and evolution. The differences between a 2009 and 2012 vintage were marked.’

Confirming yet again that this is something we make very well in South Africa, the Top Six Dessert wines gleaned one 5 Star, the Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2012. There were also four 4½ Stars awarded to Badsberg Badslese 2012, Delheim Edelspatz Noble Late Harvest 2012, Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest 2011 and KWV The Mentors Noble Late Harvest 2012. The other wine in the Top Six, D’Aria’s The Lullaby Noble Late Harvest 2013 received 4 Stars.

Chair of the panel Christine Rudman said, ‘Of the 87 wines tasted, 20 were given a 4-Star rating, four received 4½ Stars, and so, 28.7% of the wines were judged 4 Stars or higher. The panel believed that despite an already high standard, winemakers appear to be getting even better at it. Out of the Top Six wines, five were Noble Late Harvests and one was a Natural Sweet. This year, the unfortified dessert wines tended to outclass the fortified wines, by showing more complexity, a wider range of flavours and better balance. Each one of the six was different, three from single varieties Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, while the rest were blends, where Chenin Blanc dominated but other varieties had been blended in for added aromatics and layers. The vintage range of the tasting was from 2006 to 2013, and of the Top Six, only one was a current vintage, proof of how well these wines age.’

Below is the star listing and prices of the Classic Wine Top Six other Red Blends, Bordeaux-style Blends and Dessert wines from the May/June 2014 issue. This issue features reviews on some of these wines, along with informative and entertaining articles including a look at oak barrels – from wood and vine to oak and vine, Elgin’s historic heart, Franschhoek’s new classification system, a renewed look at chocolate and wine pairing, and much more…


4 Stars

Beyerskloof Faith 2010                                                                    R450

Fleur du Cap Lazlo 2006                                                                   R289

Jordan Chameleon Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2011                R60

Klein Constantia Estate Red Blend 2011                                      R180

KWV Perold Tributum 2010                                                              R600

Saronsberg Full Circle 2011                                                            R230


4 Stars

DeMorgenzon Maestro Red 2011                                                   R125

Diemersdal Private Collection 2011                                              R100

Kanu Keystone 2011                                                                         R130

Miravel 1952 Family Blend 2010                                                    R120

Rustenberg John X Merriman 2011                                                R150

Steenberg Echo Red Blend 2011                                                    R90


5 Stars

Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2012 R77

4½ Stars

Badsberg Badslese 2012                                                              R140

Delheim Edelspatz Noble Late Harvest 2012                            R140

Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest 2011                                       R119

KWV The Mentors Noble Late Harvest 2012                              R200

4 Stars

D’Aria The Lullaby Noble Late Harvest 2013                             R70


Classic Wine’s panel tastings are conducted with the labels completely out of sight. Audited, independent, unsighted wine tastings are invaluable in ensuring credibility and in safeguarding the integrity of the industry. They are also a source of editorial interest from a local to a global reach.

The tasting procedures and results are audited by chartered accountants Deloitte. The wines reviewed are generally sourced from the producers, assessed within their category, and stored and served at optimal temperatures in a controlled tasting environment.

Panellists include Wine Judging Academy graduates, Cape Wine Masters, top winemakers, sommeliers, retailers, and leading wine writers and commentators. An associate panellist is included to facilitate training opportunities for unsighted tastings, although their scores are excluded from the rating calculation. This is an initiative unique to Classic Wine.

After the tasters have scored the wines independently, star ratings are awarded on the basis of discussion that involves retasting where necessary to ensure consensus, and avoid relying solely on an arithmetic average. Wineries are sent feedback on wines that do not receive star ratings, ie wines that are found to be unacceptable or faulty.

Where a winemaker is part of the panel, the scores for their own wines are excluded from the rating calculation for that particular wine.

Further details and photos available upon request, please contact: or 021 671 8354 / 071 338 1554

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