The RisCura White Hot Wine Awards 2014: Top Three Wines

September 4, 2014
by Christian
in Special Projects
with 9 Comments

Logo-smallResults of the second annual RisCura White Hot Wine Awards are now out. This involved putting together a line-up of 41 Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blends from 33 producers, either currently available or soon to be released, and then undertaking a blind tasting.

The top three wines were as follows:

Highlands Road Sine Cera 2012
Price: R95

Morgenster 2013
Price: R174

Nitida Coronata Integration 2013
Price: R125

To read the tasting report in full, download the following: Tasting report

RisCura is a global financial analytics provider and investment consultant. Find out more here.

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  1. Angela LloydSeptember 5, 2014 at 11:25 amReply

    Re drinking windows, I am quite surprised that you suggest ‘drink now to …’ for big, slowly evolving guns such as the CPV & Vergelegen. In fact I don’t think winelovers would get the most enjoyment out of these now but in a year or two. Certainly, these two & others will go well beyond your drinking window, though I agree with your comment about tolerance for deveveloped flavours. The joy of the 3 top wines is the pleasure they give now in relative youth. How or will they mature for any length of time? I’d monitor them carefully but be inclined to enjoy them over the next 2/3 years.

    • KwispedoorSeptember 5, 2014 at 11:50 amReply

      Jip, the CPV and Vergelegen needs to take a nap first. Most of the top Elim whites can also really stretch. Last year we had quite a few Elim whites (mostly Sauvignons, which generally don’t even last as long as the Bordeaux-style blends) from 2007, 2008 & 2009 and they all still seemed relatively primary. CPV’s wines really start to blossom in maturity. We’re not talking reductive Chenin blends below R50 here – these wines will mostly be bought by real wine lovers and investors and regularly by people that have some tolerance – even preference – for tertiary flavours. The suggested drinking windows would be much more helpful and practical if they were not so ultra-conservative.

  2. BobbySeptember 5, 2014 at 10:56 amReply

    Hi Christian

    Can you direct as to how to get hold of the Highlands Road Sine Cera 2012 in Joburg?

    • ChristianSeptember 5, 2014 at 2:18 pmReplyAuthor

      Hi Bobby, Highlands Road owner Michael White says he has “stock in a private store and can arrange delivery”. His email address is:

      • BobbySeptember 5, 2014 at 2:27 pm


  3. Steve AjaxSeptember 5, 2014 at 1:30 amReply

    When I read the comparison with Domaine de Chevalier in the Tasting Report I was quite enthused. Then I read the report and see drinking windows up to 2018. I am just beginning to drink l’Esprit de Chevalier from 2004/5 and starting to drink Domaine de Chevalier 1999’s. Maybe the comparison is ill judged, at this stage anyway, but surely some of these wines must have potential to develop over longer periods.

    I have no experience of any of these wines from these vintages but from previous experience of Magna Carta and Vergelegen GVB, I am certain that there is potential for these wines to gain complexity over time. I quite often stumble across a long forgotten bottle of Constantia SB in my cellar and have become used to these wines being very drinkable often 8 to 10 years after the vintage.

    I know its early days for many of these wines, but we often underestimate the aging potential of wines from South Africa. I wonder if these wines will show themselves to worthy of laying down like the great Bordeaux you have compared them to. Maybe the sponsors should put a few bottles aside with a couple of bottles of Domaine de Chevalier and compare them in ten years time.

    • ChristianSeptember 5, 2014 at 9:05 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Steve, Suggested drinking windows are conservative and are intended to indicate when most wine lovers will get the most enjoyment out of the wine – rather a year too early than a day too late, as the saying goes. I also think that past a certain point in any wine’s development, drinking pleasure depends on your particular tolerance of tertiary flavours. I do however agree with you that some of the line-up will develop with benefit for a decade or more (Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh 2005 is still drinking fabulously well, for instance) but being specific is hard to do.

  4. SamSeptember 4, 2014 at 3:21 pmReply

    The Ghost Corner Bowline is one of my favorite wines of the moment.

    • ChristianSeptember 5, 2014 at 7:55 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Sam, Elim generally makes for love-it-or-hate-it stuff depending on your tolerance for pyrazine-related flavours. An Elim wine which I like very much is Trizanne Signature Wines Reserve 2013, which suggests that wines from here need not necessarily be super-green.

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