Badsberg Pinotage 2016

October 27, 2017
by Christian
in What I Drank Last Night
with 5 Comments
Badsberg Pinotage 2016


The SA Young Wine Show, dating back to 1833, exists to recognise the top wines of the current vintage, the General Smuts Trophy is awarded to the best young wine overall. It was somewhat bemusing to hear that Namaqua Wines won it this year for its Ruby Cabernet, Carmenere and Merlot blend but good luck to them in any event.

I guess what makes me most curious about the SA Young Wine Show is whether or not it influences anything in a commercial sense.  Badsberg won the General Smuts Trophy in 2016 for its Pinotage and when the Breedekloof cellar announced it had made a limited release of 1 716 bottles of the wine publically available at R320 a pop, I was keen to taste it.

Matured for six months in 100% new oak, the nose shows a hint of reduction before red cherry and chocolate. The palate is not too full bodied with fresh acidity and grippy tannins. Plenty of appeal but certainly not the most complex example of the variety out there and I’m not much clearer on the role that the SA Young Wine Show is supposed to play.

Editor’s rating: 87/100.

Find our South African wine ratings database here.


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  1. Maretha SpangenbergOctober 29, 2017 at 9:54 amReply

    I am ‘bemused’ that you were allowed to post this. Namaqua Wines won because they had the best wine. If this is ‘bemusing’ to you, maybe you should educate yourself and actually taste some of their wine? You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    • KwispedoorOctober 30, 2017 at 8:45 amReply

      It’s his own blog, so that’s why he’s allowed to post it, Maretha. But it’s also just an opinion and we should all be allowed those.

      I have a suggestion: since you work at Namaqua, why don’t you organise some samples for Christian to taste and write about? You seem confident that they will do very well.

  2. Peter F MayOctober 27, 2017 at 5:14 pmReply

    Two comments: first on whether “it influences anything in a commercial sense.” Historically speaking, a win for one of the first bottlings of Pinotage influenced farmers into adopting the new variety; without that wine ……?

    second – I’m puzzled the 2016 winning cellar “announced it had made a limited release of 1 716 bottles of the wine publicly available” – what did they originally intend doing with it then? Why enter a wine you don’t intend selling into such a competition if you can’t plaster your bottle with award stickers?.

    • KwispedoorOctober 28, 2017 at 8:38 amReply

      Regarding your first comment, Peter: fair enough, but I don’t think history is repeating itself. Back in the day it might have been a more important competition, but nowadays consumers have other competitions on their radar screens. Stangely, some producers still put stock in it (habit/tradition?), but let’s face it – this competition has yielded some peculiar results over the last two decades or so.

  3. Simon PocockOctober 27, 2017 at 9:39 amReply

    It’s a pointless competition – what use is it judging tank samples and incomplete wines? Who benefits from it other than the organiser that can dish out another gold medal (or bronze that looks like gold!) to slap on a bottle

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