Graham Beck Wines from Robertson won two trophies at the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge Trophy last Thursday (16 September).
At the awards function at Tintswalo Atlantic in Hout Bay Graham Beck Wines took top honours in the categories Best Rosé with their Graham Beck Pinot Noir Rosé 2017 as well as Best Nectar (demi-sec) for the Graham Beck Bliss Nectar Rosé (non-vintage).
The non-vintage Graham Beck Brut Rosé was also awarded a gold medal in the category Brut Blends. In the category Best Museum Class Cap Classique, awarded to a wine from a vintage of eight years or older, Graham Beck Wines was awarded gold medals for their 2013 Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs as well as the 1994 Graham Beck Brut.
Three other cellars from the Robertson area also excelled in the competition. The 2017 Paul René Chardonnay Brut was awarded a gold medal in the category Blanc de Blancs. The 2013 Weltevrede Philip Jonker Brut The Ring won a gold medal in the same category.
The Amorim Cap Classique Challenge was founded in 2002 by Amorim Cork, the Portuguese company which is the world’s leading producer of cork wine stoppers, in association with the now-defunct South African publication WINE Magazine. This year’s 20th anniversary of the competition coincides with the 50-year celebration of the advent of Cap Classique as a wine category. The first Cap Classique wine was made in 1971 by the late Frans Malan of Simonsig Estate in Stellenbosch. Coincidently, Simonsig won the first Best Producer Trophy at the inaugural Amorim Cap Classique Challenge 20 years ago.
Joaquim Sá, CEO of Amorim Cork South Africa and a founding member of the Cap Classique Challenge, said this year’s competition was held at an important point in the country’s wine history.
He says: “Few other wine countries, if any, can show precise records stipulating a specific year in which one of their wine categories was established. In South Africa we are fortunate to trace Cap Classique, the country’s offering of bottle-fermented sparkling wines made in the traditional method, back to 1971. In 2021, thus we are able to celebrate both the beginning of Cap Classique as a jewel in South Africa’s wine crown as well as – through this competition – the remarkable quality of the country’s Cap Classique wines.” Sá says that 50 years since the introduction of Cap Classique, South Africa has established a formidable reputation for this sparkling wine style, both locally and internationally.
“I think that Frans Malan, who pioneered Cap Classique, would be extremely pleased to see how the wine category he founded has turned out to be one of the features of the premium sector of South African wine,” says Sá. “As the annual Amorim Cap Classique Challenge shows, the country has small estate producers to large brand-owners committed to excellence in this wine style. Diversity of styles and the uniqueness of the Cape winelands’ terroir has contributed to ensuring a Cap Classique offering of multi-pronged brilliance which has made it one of the most popular sectors of Cape wine.
“Amorim is exceptionally proud to be associated with Cap Classique through our relationship as suppliers to those who make this wine, as well as through the Cap Classique Challenge which I believe has contributed to this wine’s rising star which is shining brighter than ever.”
The judges for this year’s Cap Classique Challenge were Heidi Duminy, Cape Wine Master, wine writer Malu Lambert, winemakers Pierre de Klerk (Graham Beck) and Nathan Valentine (Villiera) and wine consultant Spencer Fondaumiere. Kelsey Shungking from Mullineux Wines was the associated judge.
Full results for this year’s Amorim Cap Classique Challenge are on www.capclassique.co.za.