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.
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