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  • Writer's pictureErica Taylor


The results of the 2021 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show were announced on a special edition of Dan Really Likes Wine at midday on 30th June. Broadcast from The Houghton in Johannesburg, the live online event included the on-screen participation of the leading category winners as well as several of the judges.

Despite a lower medal count overall, there was a broad spread of trophy winners covering almost all of the major categories. It is clear that the industry has more or less recovered from the devastation of the drought years, though – with entries down 10% on 2020 - not from the 19 weeks of trading bans imposed during the first two waves of the pandemic.

The award for the Show's best producer overall was presented to Thys Louw of Diemersdal, who won the Pinotage Trophy for the Estate Pinotage Reserve 2019, and took home gold medals for the Private Collection 2017 Bordeaux blend and the 2018 The Journal Cabernet Sauvignon. The Show's Best Red Wine overall was the Thokozani 2019 Cabernet Franc which also won the Trophy for the best Cabernet Franc, as well as the Discovery of the Show Trophy, awarded to the best value gold medal winner from amongst all the entries. The Best White Wine Overall was the De Grendel Op die Berg 2020 Chardonnay. The Show's Best Cap Classique was the Paul René Chardonnay Brut 2017 and the Best Port the Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2017.

This year sees the inaugural presentation of the Rosa Kruger Trophy for the show’s best gold medal wine produced from a certified heritage vineyard. The trophy honours the extraordinary work done by Rosa Kruger in identifying and cataloguing our heritage sites, and in making it possible for the Old Vine category to grow and to flourish. The first recipient of the award is Bosman Family Vineyards for the Optenhorst Chenin Blanc 2019.

Naming rights to several of the show's trophies have been accorded to publications in the Arena Holdings group. From this year onwards the show's best Sauvignon Blanc will win the Sunday Times Trophy, the best Sparkling wine the Sowetan Trophy, the best Shiraz the Business Day Trophy, and the best Sauvignon-Semillon Blend, the Financial Mail Trophy.

In total there were 673 wines entered. There were 32 gold medals – of which 16 won trophies - 111 took home silver and 355 won bronze. This result pretty much tracks the statistics since the inception of the competition in 2002. Over the 20 editions of the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, 19404 wines were judged, 7223 bronze medals were awarded, 1907 silver medals, 590 gold medals and a mere 346 trophy winning wines.

It has long been a feature of the show that successive generations of judges identify different vintages of the same (or similar) wines amongst the highest scoring entries in the show, and this year has been no exception. Only nine of the 32 trophy and gold medal winners are first time laureates. The trophy winners are Dunstone, Elgin Vintners, Oldenburg, Old Road Wine Co., Paul René, The Berrio and Thokozani, and gold medallists Lievland and Rascallion Wines.

It is also worth looking at the Museum classes to see which producers create wines which are intended to age gracefully. The surprises here are often in the sauvignon blanc classes: received wisdom holds that sauvignons should be consumed young (preferably, some argue, in the vintage of production). The Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show has often shown (and this year has been no exception) that the very best examples evolve for many years and are often vibrant and complex ten or even fifteen years after the vintage. The oldest Museum class trophy winner this year is for a Sauvignon Blanc – The Berrio 2006.

All the Trophy Winners

Old Mutual Trophy for Most Successful Producer Overall

Trophy for Best Cabernet Franc, Old Mutual Trophy for Discovery of the Show / Best Value Gold Medallist, and Old Mutual Trophy for Best Red Wine Overall

Miele Trophy for Best Chardonnay and Old Mutual Trophy for Best White Wine Overall

Sowetan Trophy for Best Sparkling Wine

Harold Eedes Trophy for Best Chenin Blanc and Rosa Kruger Trophy for Best Old Vine Wine

American Express Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon

Riedel Trophy for Best Bordeaux-Style Red Blend

Trophy for Best Niche Red

Business Day Trophy for Best Shiraz

Sunday Times Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc

Tony Mossop Trophy for Best Cape Port

Old Mutual Trophy for Best Pinotage

Trophy for Best Semillon

Financial Mail Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Blend

Trophy for Best Other White Blend

Trophy for Best Museum Class Sauvignon Blanc

Trophy for Best Museum Class White Blend

Gold Medal Winners

  • Bon Courage Inkará Shiraz 2019

  • Boschendal Jean Le Long Prestige Cuvée Méthode Cap Classique 2009 DeMorgenzon Maestro White 2018

  • DeMorgenzon Reserve Chardonnay 2019 Diemersdal Private Collection 2017

  • Diemersdal The Journal Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

  • Ghost Corner Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (Cederberg Cellar) Highlands Road Sauvignon Blanc White Reserve 2017 (Museum Class) Iona Solace Syrah 2019

  • Ken Forrester The FMC 2019 (Old Vines) Leeuwenkuil Heritage Syrah 2018 Lievland Bushvine Pinotage 2019

  • Rascallion A Mother’s Journey Shiraz 2018 Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay 2019 Sauvage La Bri Méthode Cap Classique 2015 Vrede en Lust Kogelberg Chenin Blanc 2019

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