Since 2011 the Perold Absa Cape Blend competition has delivered true masterpieces, showing not only the local wine community, but also globally, that Pinotage is not only growing in stature, but also increasingly being used in premium wine blends. The cream of the crop has once again risen to the top and winners can look back upon their very rewarding winemaking journey with Pinotage.

The average price of the winning wines is approximately R350 per bottle, which is further testimony to the flagship status of Cape Blend wines.

Supporting South Africa’s wine industry

Judging panel convener Wilhelm Pienaar says that the winemakers are using their high-quality Pinotage and other varietals for Cape Blends, which is not only encouraging, but also proof of how important this wine style has become.

For Tina Playne, Absa’s managing executive of sectors and segments relationship banking, an important aspect of this competition is how Absa supports the whole South African wine industry and that the support given to Pinotage thus benefits all involved. “The synergy possible with Cape Blends is not unlike the relationship between Absa and the Pinotage Association,” Playne proudly adds. 

De Wet Viljoen, vice-chairman of the Pinotage Association, says, “Winemakers enjoy expressing themselves with these masterpieces, each unique and expressively so. The blends show how winemakers can manage several variables to finally make world class wines.” De Wet adds that once again the quality was astounding, with balance, elegance and structure abounding.

The full judging panel consisted of: Wilhelm Pienaar (Hermanuspietersfontein), Janno Briers-Louw (Eenzaamheid), Samarie Smith (Benguela Cove), Nataleé Botha (Kleine Zalze) and Heinrich Kulsen (Nederburg).

Winners – 2019 Perold Absa Cape Blend competition

Asara Vineyard Collection Cape Fusion 2016
WO Stellenbosch: Shiraz, Pinotage, Malbec.
Winemaker – Janette van Lill.

Clos Malverne Spirit of Malverne Limited Release 2015
WO Stellenbosch: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Malbec.
Winemaker – IP Smit.

Kaapzicht Steytler Vision 2017
WO Stellenbosch: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Merlot.
Winemaker – Danie Steytler.

KWV Abraham Perold Tributum 2012
WO Coastal Region: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Petit Verdot, Petit Sirah. Winemaker – Izélle van Blerk.

Wildekrans Cape Blend Barrel Select Reserve 2016
WO Botrivier: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Shiraz.
Winemaker – Braam Gericke

The winning wines

As for the winning wines, this year is the 6th time that the KWV Abraham Perold Tributum wine emerged victorious in this Cape Blend competition. No other producer has been as successful in this event as KWV.

Wildekrans is the only farm that won in both the Absa Top 10 Pinotage and Perold Cape Blend competitions this year. This has indeed been a superb year for the winemaking team at Wildekrans, seeing that it in fact had two finalists in the Absa Top 10 Pinotage this year.

Three Stellenbosch wines, from Clos Malverne, Asara and Kaapzicht respectively, round of the list of winning wines, each one from a different vintage.

In terms of blending partners, Shiraz is represented in four of the winning blends this year.   

Other finalists

Beyerskloof Faith 2016
WO Stellenbosch: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot.
Winemaker – Anri Truter.

Flagstone Dragon Tree Cape Blend 2017
WO Western Cape: Pinotage, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mataro, Pinot Noir, Malbec. Winemaker – Gerhard Swart.

Cape West Cabernet Sauvignon/Pinotage 2018 (Namaqua Wines)
WO West Coast Region: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon.
Winemaker – Reinier van Greunen.

Rooiberg Winery Reserve Cape Blend 2015
WO Robertson: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz.
Winemaker – André Scriven

Wellington Wines La Cave Cape Blend 2016
WO Wellington: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz.
Winemaker – Francois van Niekerk – Press release, Pinotage Association