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10 Year Old Wine Awards 2018: Results

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Winemag.co.za is pleased to present the 10 Year Old Wine Awards 2018 – featuring wines from the 2008 vintage.

56 entries from 27 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
Neil Ellis Elgin 2008 – 90
Tokara Reserve Collection Walker Bay 2008 – 90

SAUVIGNON BLANC
Neil Ellis Elgin 2008 – 91
Shannon 2008 – 91
Domaine des Dieux 2008 – 90

CABERNET SAUVIGNON
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2008 – 91
Neil Ellis Stellenbosch 2008 – 91
Remhoogte 2008 – 91
La Bri 2008 – 90

RED BLENDS
Fleur Du Cap Laszlo 2008 – 91
Tokara Director’s Reserve Red 2008 – 90

PINOTAGE
Tokara 2008 – 90

NOBLE LATE HARVEST
Tokara Reserve Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2008 – 92

MUSCADEL
Badsberg Red 2008 – 92

PORT-STYLE
De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2008 – 91

To read the tasting report in full, download the following: 10 Year Old Wine Awards 2018

7 COMMENTS

  1. there would be an easy reason why 2008 wines did not stun – except for some in the Helderberg. that was the year of the Escom cut-offs where guys struggled to ferment cool. a 10 year old white should walk the floor on most modern stuff

  2. Christian, I would be intrigued to understand if you tasted any of these wines when first released and how their scores compare to these 10 years on.

    I feel somewhat disappointed that these aged wines (both red, white and sweet) did not do better. Clearly it was a limited field but is still somewhat representative, even if missing SA’s ‘first growths’. Whilst scoring is not everything it is indicative in what is a very subjective game.

    I love aged all wines – it a rare opportunity to taste time. But these scores make me wonder if I should be cellaring SA wine for the long haul (variety dependent). Or should I be content to drink them knowing that they have gently declined from their first blush and their primary offering is their apex.

    It would be interesting to see how the wines of the young guns and revoltultionaries (who only really started 10 years ago) stack up 10 years on, given their sensitivity to terroir, structure and site appropriate winemaking.

    • Absolutely, Andrew. Most serious wine lovers have a broad idea of how the usual suspects’ wines mature. What we all really want to see is how the so-called Young Guns’s wines are maturing. We’re only just entering that window where the wines of the pioneering group of Young Guns are starting to mature nicely. Hopefully the next few editions of this competition will shed more light on this, but the question remains if they will enter their wines? A new solo venture requires capital and cash flow which means proper library stock is sometimes an unaffordable luxury.

      Although some really good producers took part here, it’s unfortunate that we don’t see a better representation of the more established heavyweights either. Whether you’re Kanonkop or a Young Gun who makes tiny quantities of sought-after wine, your reputation can arguably more easily be dented than boosted in a big tasting like this. But let’s hope that more top producers will have the balls to enter their wines. If you pride yourself on your wines’ excellent maturation ability, this is the competition to enter, isn’t it? That’s what everyone wants to see.

    • Hi Andrew, Allow me to repeat my response when similar concerns about apparently disappointing scores were raised in relation to last year’s tasting: “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.”

      It was clearly a limited field but not that limited – Neil Ellis and Tokara, for instance, have now demonstrated the age-worthiness of their wines two years running and this must surely boost their already considerable credentials. As for the obvious absentees, well, you have to be in it to win it.

      Regarding the perennial question concerning when to drink, I’ve essentially given up proferring an opinion – past a certain point in any wine’s development, it becomes a matter of each individual’s personal tolerance for developed/tertiary character until finally there’s nothing left at all.

  3. Quite strange to have such a small pool of entries from established producers when punters are constantly assured by tasting room staff that, “the winemaker says that this wine will easily age 20 to 25 years in the bottle”! HAAL UIT EN WYS MENSE

  4. I recently shared a 1981 KWV Cab Sav with some friends, and it was still eminently drinkable, minus some primary fruit. The real pleasure was knowing this wine was bottled close to 4 decades ago and surmising the contents had somehow encapsulated those years and allowed us to recall a past through its consumption. Very subjective I acknowledge, but still interesting.

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