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Absa Top 10 Pinotage competition 2011 winners

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Benefiting from some age.

The winners of the 15th annual Absa Top 10 Pinotage competition are:

Beyerskloof Reserve 2008
Diemersdal Reserve 2010
Fairview Primo 2009
Kanonkop 2006
KWV The Mentor’s 2009
Laibach 2010
Naledi 2009
Rijk’s Private Cellar 2007
Schalk Burger & Sons Meerkat 2009
Windmeul Reserve 2010

During the awards function lunch, the 20 finalists were served in four flights of five allowing guests to draw up their own top 10 and I agreed with six of the official winners.

I left out Fairview Primo 2009, Naledi 2009 and Windmeul Reserve 2010 (all overdone either in terms of fruit ripeness or oak or both) as well as a Schalk Burger & Sons Meerkat 2009 (appealing but ultimately lacking in complexity) and would have instead included L’Avenir 2009, Kanonkop 2009, KWV Cathedral Cellar 2009 and Spier 21 Gables 2009.

There was only one wine among the 20 finalists under 14% alcohol by volume (Altydgedacht 2010) and a whole bunch over 15% and whether the judges favoured weight and power over elegance or Pinotage has to be super-ripe before it’s any good is a moot point.

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  1. That glorious, Burgundy-like Kanonkop 2009 didn’t make it? That’s proof enough that the judges favour the infantile seduction of very ripe fruit over structure and balance (and age worthiness). What’s new? Will somebody please throw a bender of a fortified red cooldrink party for the judges in this country so that they can get it out of their system?

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