10 Year Old Wine Awards 2017: Results

April 19, 2017
by Christian
in News, Special Projects
with 10 Comments

10-year-old logoWinemag.co.za is pleased to present the 10 Year Old Wine Awards 2017 – featuring wines from the 2007 vintage.

72 entries from 41 producers were received and these were tasted blind (labels out of sight) by the three-person panel, scoring done according to the 100-point quality scale.

Wines to rate 90 or higher on the 100-point quality scale were as follows:

Chardonnay
Tokara Stellenbosch 2007 – 91
La Bri – 90

Chenin Blanc
DeMorgenzon Reserve 2007 – 91
Rudera Robusto 2007 – 91
Jordan Barrel Fermented 2007 – 90

Sauvignon Blanc
Tokara Elgin 2007 – 94

Cabernet Sauvignon
Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Jonkershoek Valley 2007 – 91
Le Riche Reserve 2007 – 90

Pinot Noir
Hamilton Russell Vineyards 2007 – 91

Red blends
Simonsig Tiara 2007 – 92
Tokara Director’s Reserve 2007 – 92
Remhoogte Estate 2007 – 91
Villiera Monro 2007 – 91
Daylea 2007 (Grangehurst) – 90

Shiraz/Syrah
Haut Espoir 2007 – 91
Simonsig Merindol 2007- 90

Muscadel
Nuy 2007 – 94

Port-style Fortified
Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2007 – 91
Bredell’s Cape Vintage Reserve 2007 – 90

To read the tasting report in full, download the following: 10 Year Old Wine Awards 2017 – Tasting Report

To view a photo album of the awards function, CLICK HERE.

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10 Comments

  1. UdoApril 20, 2017 at 8:16 pmReply

    Funny (or honest?) that you rate Daylea 2007 from Grangehurst highest from his wines. That is his cheapest wine. The Grangehurst 2007 just received a third place in a huge competition here in Holland in the red blend categorie, out of more or less 100 wines. Any result should be taken with a pinch of salt.

    • Hennie TaljaardApril 21, 2017 at 8:44 amReply

      Udo, which proves that the most expensive is not always the best!

  2. JamesApril 20, 2017 at 12:57 pmReply

    I rate this discussion 89/100

  3. ChristianApril 20, 2017 at 10:25 amReplyAuthor

    In response to both Kwispedoor and Tim, some thoughts on the scoring for this tasting:

    1. When Winemag.co.za convenes a competition, full results are published whereas day to day, I try to focus on wines that are at least above average. I suspect that because the report contains scores from top to bottom, it is creating the incorrect impression that we were underwhelmed by the line-up whereas we were in fact surprised by how well most of them showed.

    In any event, the mellowness which wine acquires with age, something I enjoy as much as the next person, doesn’t necessarily equate to an improvement. I think very few wines from anywhere in the world actually leap up in quality over time.

    2. Just how much higher do you think the scores should have been? A 90+ score is surely a remarkable achievement while I would strongly advise that the wines rated 87 and 88 are not to be ignored. Let us not perpetuate the score inflation which seems to be happening in many quarters…

    3. I don’t think there is a disconnect between scores for current releases and these older wines. The really big scores on this website tend to go to small-batch, old-vine Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and new-wave Syrah which weren’t very much in evidence 10 years ago.

    • KwispedoorApril 20, 2017 at 10:48 pmReply

      Thanks, Christian

      In response to your three points:

      1. I applaud you for releasing full results – that’s all good. I was specifically talking about the wines in the line-up with generally good reputations, though. Personally, I would much prefer a really good mellow old wine than a technically well-made young wine that offers plenty refreshment, but not any real interest. You do review some of the latter category from time to time, even though you don’t focus on them, but I can’t really recall ANY young wines scoring in the seventies.

      2. I agree that score inflation per se should be avoided. But scores of 87 and 88 are not generally the kind of wines I’ve seen you get excited about. I fairly often get excited about SA’s better wines once they have a decade or so behind them. I recently almost had a pants accident over a Klein Constantia Rhine Riesling 1998 which was complex, still incredibly alive, with some vivid fruit and a perpetual aftertaste (in fact, I almost had a pants accident now, just thinking about it). Easily a 95 at the very least and way better than when it was a much younger wine. I know that one example doesn’t prove anything and some wines go in an undesireable direction with age, but I hope that you get my drift.

      3. I’m not convinced. I had a quick look at some of these wines that you might have rated before – even if vintages were different – when they were more youthful (one might argue overall stepped-up quality in newer vintages, but 2007 was a pretty good vintage):
      *You have rated the Ken Forrester Chenin 2007 85 here. In 2017 you rated the 2016 vintage 90 and in 2015 you rated the 2014 vintage 93.
      *You have rated the Tokara White 2007 87 points here. In 2013 you rated the 2012 94 and in 2012 you rated the 2011 18/20. At the Riscura awards in 2016, the 2014 received 94 points.
      *You have rated the Thelema Cabernet 2007 87 points here. In 2016 you rated the 2012 91 points. The 2009 was in your Top 12 wines of 2013 and in the same year received four and a half stars in the Christian Eedes Cab Report. The 2010 was in your Top 20 wines of 2014 and in the same year received four and a half stars in the Christian Eedes Cab Report.
      *You have rated the Haskell IV 2007 87 points here. In 2013, when it was four years younger, you rated the exact same vintage 93.
      *You have rated the Hartenberg The Mackenzie 2007 86 points here. In 2016, you rated the 2012 92 points at the Riscura awards.
      *You have rated the Hartenberg Gravel Hill 2007 87 points here. In 2013, when it was four years younger, you rated the exact same vintage 94.
      *You have rated the De Krans CVR 2007 87 points here. In 2015 you rated the 2011 93 and the 2012 92. In 2013 you rated the 2008 vintage 92.

      This might all seem a little pedantic, especially since we are sometimes talking about different vintages and we are all aware of the vagaries of the exercise of tasting wine – and even more so when they get older. But this is certainly enough to suggest something of a disconnect between the scores for these older wines vs the scores of younger versions of it, no? I just feel that, between at least 50 or so seemingly high-quality older wines, I would have expected more than two scores over 92 and less scores in the mid eighties and below.

  4. Andrew GunnApril 20, 2017 at 9:33 amReply

    I can only but agree on the rating of the Iona Chardonnay as I tasted a couple of bottles of the 2007 before sending it in and felt they were showing really well.

    • ChristianApril 20, 2017 at 9:52 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Andrew, When the wine’s identity was revealed after the tasting, we were obviously surprised at its poor showing given its pedigree and I suspect that closure failure was the culprit – both bottles appeared oxidised, deep orange in colour, flat and tired in terms of both nose and palate.

    • KwispedoorApril 21, 2017 at 9:04 amReply

      Hi, Andrew
      Have you ever considered an alternative closure to cork? Paying through one’s nose may secure so-called “guaranteed TCA-free” corks, but other problems like extraction issues and premox, especially in older wines, still prevail…

  5. Tim JamesApril 19, 2017 at 6:39 pmReply

    To take up Kwispedoor’s comment. Looking through your report, I am forced to wonder if the judges actually like what older wines have to offer? All those scores in the dull mid 80s for wines whose current releases get (I think it would be fair to generalise and say) very much higher ratings with current releases.

    I must say that I’m particularly disappointed by the cool reception of the judges for the majority of wines (and, as Kwispedoor says, the lowish top scores), because I think these results will make producers understandably reluctant to submit wines in future. And I really think we ought to be encouraging winelovers to their wines. These results suggest very strongly that, in most cases, they should drink them up quite quickly!

    Obviously I can’t disagree in detail with the specific judgements but the overall tone is not in tune with my own experience in maturing the better Cape reds especially. I find that the extra time in bottle bringing them up to 10 usually adds a great great deal, rather than detracts.

  6. KwispedoorApril 19, 2017 at 5:07 pmReply

    Hi, Christian.

    I don’t put too much stock anyone’s exact score of any one wine and mostly regard it as a rough indication. However, looking here at the whole group of wines, it seems like they were all arguably fairly conservatively scored. I’m taking into account that a large percentage of these wines have good reputations and those specific wines from this selection would often score higher in their youth.

    I like older wines and mostly think that specifically the better (and non-faulty) SA wines generally mature with quite some benefit during the first decade. Was the panel of the opinion that the wines as a group didn’t really excite (apart from the two loners that managed to score slightly higher than 92) or could the scores perhaps be a tad under-cooked overall?

    As an aside, surely something was wrong with that bottle of Iona Chardonnay?

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