2021 CWG Auction wines rated

By , 17 August 2021



This year’s Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction hosted by auction house Bonhams takes place live and online on Saturday 2 October 2021 from 10h00 (London time).

The line-up comprises 45 wines, total cases on offer amounting to the equivalent of 1 734 six-bottle cases compared to 28 wines and 564 cases last year, when the auction was restricted to online only due to Coronavirus.

Media and trade were invited to a blind tasting of the line-up, my scores as follows:


Saronsberg Die Erf Shiraz 2018
W.O. Tulbagh. Matured for 20 months in French oak, 100% new. Alc: 14.5%. Red and black berries, fynbos and pepper on the nose while the palate is medium bodied and yet intensely flavoured – a good core of fruit, bright acidity and crunchy tannins, the finish nicely dry.


Spier Frans K Smit CWG Special Edition 2018
W.O. Stellenbosch. 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 8% Cabernet Franc. Matured for 20 months in French oak. Alc: 14.57%. The nose has top notes of violets and herbs before cassis and pencil shavings. The palate is full but balanced: super-dense fruit, fresh acidity and smooth tannins. Intensely flavoured, the finish is long and dry.


Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2017
W.O. Western Cape. 85% Touriga Nacional, 10% Touriga Franca, 3% Souzao, 2% Tinta Barocca. Alc: 18.28%. Super-complex aromatics of red and black berries, herbs, potpourri and baking spice. The palate is beautifully balanced with pure fruit, bright acidity and relatively fine tannins.


Paul Cluver Wines The Wagon Trail Chardonnay 2020
W.O. Elgin. Grapes from a block planted in 1987. Fermented and matured for nine months in French oak, 38% new. Alc: 12.74%. A little struck match before pear, white peach and citrus plus an undertone of herbs. The palate is taut with great fruit definition and racy acidity before a pithy finish.


Simonsig Heirloom Shiraz 2018
W.O. Stellenbosch. 22% whole-bunch fermentation. Matured in new French oak.  Alc: 14.3%. The nose shows a note of smoky reduction before red and black berries, pepper plus hints of lilies and herbs. The palate, meanwhile, is luscious with a dense core of fruit, bright acidity and fine tannins.


Savage Wines Auction Syrah 2019
W.O. Swartland. 50% whole-bunch fermentation. Matured for 10 months in a clay amphora. Alc: 13.6%. The nose is very perfumed with notes of red and black berries, fynbos and pepper. The apalte is light-bodied but nevertheless still intensely flavoured, the finish long and savoury.


Beaumont Family Wines Whole Bunch Mourvèdre 2017
Bouchard Finlayson Pinot Noir 2019
Delaire Graff Estate Banghoek Cabernet Sauvignon – Cabernet Franc 2017
Gottfried Mocke Wine Projects Pinot Noir 2018
Grangehurst Au Revoir 2017


Ernie Els CWG 2018
Graham Beck Synergy Chardonnay Pinot Noir Extra Brut 2017
Kanonkop CWG Paul Sauer 2018
Miles Mossop Wines Maximilian 2018
Raats Family Wines The Fountain Terroir Specific Chenin Blanc 2020
Saronsberg Inner Circle 2017


Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Auction Reserve 2018
Boplaas Daniel’s Legacy 2017
Cederberg Teen Die Hoog Shiraz 2019
De Grendel Op Die Berg Pinot Noir 2018
Delaire Graff Estate Banghoek Cabernet Franc – Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Delaire Graff Estate Banghoek Cabernet Franc – Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Jordan Sophia 2018
Kanonkop CWG Pinotage 2018
Neil Ellis Wines Amper Bo Tempranillo 2017
Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Sandford Chardonnay 2019
Raats Family Wines Stella Nova Cabernet Franc 2017
Rijk’s CWG Pinotage 2017
Simonsig ‘Die Dop’ Chenin Blanc 2019
Warwick The White Lady Auction Chardonnay 2019


Boschkloof Epilogue Syrah 2019
Hartenberg CWG Auction Merlot 2018
Miles Mossop Wines Saskia-Jo 2018
Rijk’s CWG Chenin Blanc 2018
Rust en Vrede CWG Auction Estate 2017
Villiera Shooting Star Cap Classique Brut 2015


Grangehurst Heritage 2018
Groot Constantia CWG Gouverneurs Reserve 2018
Hartenberg CWG Auction Shiraz 2018
Luddite The Lone Stranger Mark II 2018
Rust en Vrede CWG Auction Estate 2016
Silverthorn Big Dog VII Méthode Cap Classique 2016


Ataraxia Under The Gavel Chardonnay 2020
De Grendel Wooded Sauvignon Blanc 2020
Lismore Estate Vineyards Here Comes The Sun 2020

For more information, visit Capewinemakersguild.com


16 comment(s)

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    Colin | 9 October 2021

    These scores didn’t age well. Christian you appear badly out of touch.

      Dieter Gugelmann | 22 September 2022

      Gentlemen, please stop commenting on the wine ratings.
      You either like the wine or you don’t. I don’t drink points, I buy and drink the wine I like. All the points are just a guideline for me, nothing more!

    Keith Prothero | 2 October 2021

    Amazing the price the Cederberg Shiraz achieved. Obviously the people bidding did not take into account your scores Christian. Also amazing the difference between your view of the Lismore and Jancis. Think buyers went with her judgement. Not a criticism of you as you can only call them as they tasted to you on the day

    Gal Gestin | 19 August 2021

    I noticed the Ataraxia Chardonnay 2020 rated 89. Last year the 2019 was rated 95. Has Kevin Grant lost his way, or was it the blind tasting?

      Christian Eedes | 20 August 2021

      Hi Gal Gestin, The issue with the Ataraxia, as my fellow tasters on the day will attest, was that it appeared muted raising suspicions about taint, so much so that a second bottle was opened which also appeared very unexpressive. Tasting note as follows: “Shy nose – hints of pear and peach. Thin palate – clean and fresh but no detail”.

    Gareth | 17 August 2021

    Thanks Christian, I actually had the impression that you prefer the lighter ‘crunchy’ Syrah’s so the bold wines scored well by you must be brilliant 🙂

    In terms of the Kanonkop Pinotage, do you know if it comes from a barrel of the Black Label Pinotage or the standard Kanonkop Pinotage?

      Christian Eedes | 17 August 2021

      Hi Gareth, On stylistic preferences, I like this quotation from Marcel Duchamp I came across recently: “I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste”. As for the CWG Pinotage 2018, total production is 58 six-bottle cases and it spent 20 months in barrel which is longer than both the estate (16 months) and Black Label (18 months) – other than that, I’m not sure you will ever get a straight answer as to what makes it different!!!

    Colin | 17 August 2021

    You have a bit of a theme it seems. Top 3 highest scoring still reds:

    All shiraz
    All high alcohol
    All tons of new oak

    So this begs the question – does your palate truly just prefer wines like these, or were they really that great?

      Christian Eedes | 17 August 2021

      Hi Colin, Out of my top six, three are Shiraz/Syrah and then one Cape Bordeaux Red Blend, one Chardonnay and one Cape Vintage Reserve. Out of the three examples of Syrah to feature, one – the Savage 2019 – has an alcohol of under 14% and was matured in a clay pot. Don’t think you can say I’m biased one way or the other…

        Colin | 17 August 2021

        Sorry my bad on calling the Frans K Smit a shiraz. Still your top 3 still red wines are all big wines, so the question remains…

          CardiologistNo6336 | 18 August 2021

          Christian describes the Savage Auction Syrah 2019 as light bodied. I don’t think your observation is accurate, Colin. His top 3 wines are not all shiraz, are not all high alcohol, do not all have tons of new oak, and aren’t all full bodied. I don’t see the trend you’re seeing.

            Colin | 18 August 2021

            Perhaps you should read ALL my comments again – this time with concentration

              CardiologistNo6336 | 19 August 2021

              I did. Would you say that they are all big wines if one of them, the Savage Auction Syrah 2019 is light bodied with no oak? It’s tied with the Simonsig Heirloom Shiraz 2018 so presumably you can’t place it outside of the top 3 still reds.

                Colin | 20 August 2021

                Ok shame, I’ll indulge you. Let me rephrase… Christian 75% of your top still red wines are blockbuster high alcohol, new oak bombs. Does your palate just prefer wines like these or were they that great?

                Do you feel better @cardiologist?

              Tom | 19 August 2021

              Hi Colin,
              Best bet is to check out the ratings under the ‘Wine’ tab of this site, for all time high scores.
              Pinotage a case in point. A variety of styles make up the top 10.
              More likely, you could say with the CWG selections that there will be more ‘blockbuster’ wines in the overall line-up. Nothing wrong with this, but producers want to make an impression and barrel selections are a good way to achieving this. Ripeness too.
              Given the low volumes of the wines, they’re going to be well judged and very well made.
              A 14.5% vol can show itself very differently from one wine to another.

                Colin | 20 August 2021

                I hear you, but do have a look at the reports – especially the last Bordeaux red one – and check out the top wines vs their alcohol and winemaking. This CWG line up plus the reports are done blind. Whereas the rest of the ratings are sighted . So it begs the question – and it is an honest question without intended malice – does Christian actually prefer the bigger wines, but when he does them sighted he leans to score differently because the current fashion is for lighter styles?

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