At a function in the lovely Bar of the newly opened De Warenmarkt in Stellenbosch Mvemve Raats De Compostella 2013 was named the overall winner of the inaugural RisCura Red Hot Wine Awards for Bordeaux-style red blends.
Bordeaux-style red blends tend to have the ability to mature in the bottle for many years, most commonly contain Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the blend, but often Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot form part of the mix too.
The relationship between RisCura and WineMag began in 2013, when wine judge and writer Christian Eedes hosted the RisCura White Hot Wine Awards for white wines for the first time. Feeling that the Bordeaux-style category receives little recognition in our country, despite having high price points in many instances and often being the most expensive in a cellar, Eedes collaborated with RisCura to host the first RisCura Red Hot Awards for Bordeaux-style blends. RisCura is a global financial services provider.
A total of 85 entries was received from 64 producers in response to the invitation to participate. Out of the total, eleven wines were scored 90 points or more, and were honored with a certificate and a set of stickers for their winning bottles. Judges with Eedes were James Pietersen and Roland Peens, both from Wine Cellar, conducting a blind evaluation.
In welcoming the winemakers and writers, Eedes asked the question as to how justified the producers of high-priced Bordeaux-style blends are to charge such a premium for them. He commented that there were notable absences of some producers, who had chosen not to participate in the competition. He mentioned the ‘historically famous’ Rubicon and Paul Sauer Kanonkop a number of times. Eedes also fed back that far too many of the blends that they tasted were over ripe, over extracted, and over oaked, the winning wines not having these characteristics.
90 points: Fleur du Cap Lazlo 2008, Overgaauw Tria Corda 2012, Thelena Rabelais 2011, and Uva Mira OTV 2013
91 points: Dombeya Fenix 2010, Fleur du Cap Lazlo 2009, Keet First Verse 2011, Morgenster 2010, Morgenster 2012
92 points: MR De Compostella 2013, Diemersdal Private Collection 2013.
As the Best Overall winner, Mvemve Raats won a 225 liter Grande Reserve Château Tradition barrel from Tonnellerie Sylvain, which was symbolically handed over by Jean Daneel. Eedes mentioned that the R900 price tag on the De Compostella was justified for its excellent quality.
Two public tastings of the eleven Bordeaux-style blends will be held at the Radisson Blu Hotel Gautrain on 19 August, and at the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront on 26 August.
The Bar at De Warenmarkt is run by Devil’s Peak Brewing Company. The staff was slow in bringing bottles of the winning wines and glasses, to allow guests to taste. The food offering was disappointing, and was brought in from Cape Town, rather than sourced from a De Warenmarkt supplier.
WineMag, Cell 0836547721. www.winemag.co.za Twitter: @ChristianEedes