Innovation and diversity signify 31st Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction
Meticulous selection, great diversity and rare gems from small parcels of exceptional vineyards, have raised the bar for the 31st Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction, when a treasure trove of 55 distinct, masterly crafted wines goes under the hammer in Stellenbosch on Saturday, 3 October 2015.
This South African wine industry showcase features small volumes of rare, individual wines all made exclusively for the auction by members of the Cape Winemakers Guild. Benchmarking winemaking excellence with wines of enduring worth is the signature of this annual auction where quality supersedes quantity particularly this year, with 258 fewer cases on offer than in 2014.
The 2015 auction line-up comprises 34 red wines, 17 white wines, three Méthode Cap Classiques and a straw wine making up the tally of 2 575 cases (6 x 750ml case equivalent).
“Great diversity with interesting blends and varietal wines in smaller volumes and case lots than in recent years, underscores our singular commitment to bolster creativity and setting new benchmarks that will improve the standing of South African wines,” says CWG Chairman, Andries Burger of Paul Cluver Wines, who believes the auction, which is open to the public, offers some exciting new styles in addition to the core of well-established wines of great auction lineage that attracts small private buyers as well as more serious collectors and the influential wine trade year after year.
Innovation and experimentation amongst the reds are a strong feature this year with the first ever Barbera, Bruce Jack’s The Drift Farm “Die Kans Vate” Single Vineyard Barbera 2013, making its auction debut. Another auction newcomer is Boplaas Daniel’s Legacy Cape Portuguese Red Bend 2013, the first “Calitzdorp-style” red blend of three classic Port varieties with Shiraz by Carel Nel. Duncan Savage makes his debut with his first auction wine under his own name, Savage Wines Auction Red 2013, a Rhone-style red blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah, alongside his Cape Point Vineyards White 2014.
John Loubser has his first Silverthorn wine on auction this year with his Silverthorn Wines “Big Dog” Méthode Cap Classique 2010.
With a total of 12 wines, red blends, particularly Bordeaux-style, are a strong category this year, followed by Shiraz (8), Pinot Noir (5), Cabernet Sauvignon (4), Pinotage (3), Merlot (1) and Barbera (1).
Amongst the white wines, Chardonnay is the biggest single category with five entries, followed by Sauvignon Blanc (4), white blends (3), Chenin Blanc (2), Semillon (1), Semillon Gris (1), and Muscat de Frontignan (1).
The three Cap Classiques to go under the hammer this year are from Graham Beck, Silverthorn Wines and Villiera, whilst the only straw wine is from Boplaas.
This year’s magnum offerings are two Vriesenhof Pinot Noirs, a 2010 and 2013 vintage, and a 2013 De Trafford Cabernet Sauvignon.
Auction stalwarts amongst the reds that are back with new vintages include Boschkloof Epilogue Syrah 2013, Cederberg CWG Teen die Hoog Shiraz 2013, De Grendel Op Die Berg Pinot Noir 2013, Ernie Els CWG 2013, Etienne Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Auction Reserve 2011, Hartenberg CWG Auction Shiraz 2013, Jordan Sophia 2012, Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2012, Paul Cluver Auction Selection Pinot Noir 2013, Rust en Vrede CWG Estate 2012, Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Auction Reserve 2013, Simonsig Heirloom Shiraz 2013, Saronsberg Die Erf Shiraz 2013, and Beyerskloof Traildust Pinotage 2013. The only Merlot this year is from Hartenberg, whilst Grangehurst has the only Cape Blend.
Interesting white wines include a Muscat de Frontignan from Adi Badenhorst, a Semillon Gris and Chenin Blanc from Andrea Mullineux, Sauvignon Blancs from Bartho Eksteen, De Grendel, Louis Nel and Nitida, a Semillon from Nicky Versfeld and a Chenin Blanc from Miles Mossop. The Chardonnay line-up features new vintages of auction faithfuls, Ataraxia Under The Gavel Chardonnay 2014, Jordan Chardonnay Auction Selection 2014, Paul Cluver The Wagon Trail Chardonnay 2014 and Waterford Estate Chardonnay Auction Selection 2011.
All auction wines are selected after rigorous scrutiny in a blind tasting by the members of the Guild and tested by an independent laboratory to ensure that they are free of any defects and meet the highest standards of wine health measurement.
Since its inception in 1985, the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction has become a benchmark of excellence and the CWG label is widely held as an authentic assurance of quality and craftsmanship.