The South African Wine Index, better known as SAWi (and pronounced as Savvy), yesterday released its top South African wines of the year. The awards, held at the luxurious Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa in Camps Bay, honoured Hamilton Russell Vineyards as the 2012 SAWi Wine Cellar of the Year.
Hannes Storm, Hamilton Russell winemaker, was awarded the 2012 SAWi Winemaker of the Year award and viticulturist, Johan Montgomery, received acknowledgement as the 2012 SAWi Viticulturist of the Year. Together this dynamic duo, along with foreman Colin Jonkers and his team in the vineyards, also won the 2012 SAWi White Wine of the Year accolade with their Hamilton Russell Chardonnay. This cellar has for decades been renowned for its Pinot Noir, but our old faithful Pinot better watch out for his younger brother Chardonnay. We are sure owner Anthony Hamilton Russell is ecstatic with the awards presented to his team.
For the third time in a row, Rijks Private Cellar Pinotage received the 2012 SAWi Red Wine of the Year trophy, a mere fraction of a point ahead of Kanonkop Paul Sauer in second place.
The SAWi award system does not judge a wine or cultivar according to a single harvest result or at a single time. Rather, judging is based on the combined results of 44 different, multi-national wine competitions. Top 10 mentions and trophies are also taken into account during these calculations.
The SAWi awards are divided as follows:
Top Wines for 2012
KWV Mentors Shiraz
Spier Creative Block Selection Rhone Blend
Rijks Private Cellar Pinotage
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay
Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir
Kanonkop Paul Sauer
Lomond Snowbush Sauvignon Blanc
Ken Forrester FMC Chenin Blanc
Klein Constantia Vin de Constance
Saronsberg Full Circle Shiraz blend
Eagles’ Nest Shiraz
Groot Constantia Gouverneurs Shiraz
Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh Sauvignon Blanc Semillon
KWV Mentors Sauvignon Blanc Semillon
Spier Private Collection Sauvignon Blanc
Spier Private Collection Chenin Blanc
Spier Private Collection Chardonnay
Spier Creative Block Bordeaux Blend
Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir,
Kaaimansgat Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay
Hannibal Sangiovese Blend
Cederberg Private Cellar Sauvignon Blanc,
Five Generations Chenin Blanc and
Cederberg Teen Die Hoog Shiraz
Rijks Private Cellar Chardonnay
Rijks Private Cellar Chenin Blanc
Lomond Conebush Syrah
Gypsy Shiraz Grenache
Klein Constantia Marlbrook Bordeaux Blend
Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Semillon
Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Viognier blend
Uva Mira Single Vineyard Chardonnay
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Mulderbosch Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
Warwick Trilogy Bordeaux Blend
Cape Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve
Paul Cluver Chardonnay
Raka Biography Shiraz
Meerlust Pinot Noir
Tokara Reserve Collection Stellenbosch Chardonnay
Stellenzicht Golden Triangle Cabernet Sauvignon
Top fortified wines
Grand Gold awards went to:
Merwida White Muscadel
De Krans Vintage Reserve
Cape Tawny Port
Neethlingshof Maria Riesling Noble Late Harvest
De Trafford Straw wine
South Africa’s brandies were at the top of their game. Van Ryn’s 12 year old won Platinum and Van Ryn’s 20-year old took Grand Gold. KWV won Platinum for their KWV 15-year old, as did Laborie Alambic, and KWV 20-year old received Grand Gold.
Vriesenhof winemaker and old-Springbok rugby player, Jan ‘Boland’ Coetzee, was honoured as the 2012 SAWi Wine Legend of the Year. He is a founding member of the Cape Winemakers Guild and a wine consultant for several wine cellars. His contribution to the global profile of South African wines has made Coetzee a true pioneer in the South Africa Wine industry.
Most Awarded Cellars
KWV won an impressive seven awards, followed by Spier and Hamilton Russel Vineyards with five awards each. Bouchard Finlayson, Cederberg, and Rijks each won four awards, while Kanonkop, Lomond, Ken Forrester, Klein Constantia, Fleur du Cap and Saronsberg were amongst the cellars that had received more than one award.
Rustenburg, La Motte, De Toren, De Trafford, Cape Point Vineyards, Eagle’s Nest, Ken Forrester, Paul Cluver, Uva Mira, Oak Valley and Warwick also received Top Cellar 2012 mentions.
South African Wine Index
Phone: +27 82 577 7037