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Eagles’ Nest and Nuy take top honours at 19th Michelangelo
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Two Collotype Grand Prix Trophies were awarded to the two top scoring wines in this year's Michelangelo, namely the new Dessert Grand Prix trophy for Nuy's Wit Muskadel 2007 and the Grand Prix trophy for Eagles' Nest Wines 2012 Shiraz.

The new Dessert Trophy was introduced this year to give recognition to South Africa's excellent dessert wines which always receive high scores from the competition's international judges.

Now in its 19th year, the Michelangelo is the only wine competition in South Africa with an exclusive international panel of accredited wine judges, wine makers, wine masters, journalists and sommeliers.

This year 17 international wine and spirits specialists from 15 countries were joined by local judge, Gregory Mutambe and brandy and spirits judges, Dave Hughes and Dr Caroline Snyman, to judge the entries over 6 days in mid- August.

A total of 1665 entries from 364 producers were entered in a total of 48 classes, including liqueurs, brandy and grappa. Since 2014 the Michelangelo has brought a panel of liqueur and spirits specialist to South Africa to judge entries in these classes as part of the competition’s annual line-up.

At the record-attendance awards function on Friday, Lorraine Immelman, founder and owner of the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards commented on the consistently high number of entries received: “This is an indication of the wine industry’s dramatic move to international markets over the past decade. As the world becomes smaller and the South African market becomes more and more saturated, producers have to investigate ways of increasing exports of their products.

“Michelangelo offers them the opportunity to gauge the international market and find those products which will appeal to international palates. We believe that a wine which has fared well in Michelangelo will be well accepted in countries ”

Judging Results
Using the international 100 point system in the blind tastings, the judges awarded a total of 596 medals which represent just over a third of entries (as per the international rules to which the Michelangelo ascribes). Trophies were awarded to the highest scoring wines in their classes.

The awards comprised:
•  16 trophies 
•  A new trophy, namely for Best Cape Blend was introduced and is sponsored by Trane, specialists in cooling systems to the wine industry. 
•  Furthermore, a second Grand Prix Trophy was introduced from this year for the Best Dessert Wine entered – the aim being to give South Africa’s excellent dessert wines more exposure and recognition. 
•  The Pinotage trophy also gained a new, international sponsor, namely logistics giant, JF Hillebrand. 

• 13 platinum medals were awarded to wines scoring 96 and above. Of these three platinums were awarded to Shiraz, two platinums each to Chenin Blanc and Merlot and one each to Cape Vintage, Chardonnay, MCC, Pinot Noir, Pinotage and Red blends.

•  89 Gran d’Or (double gold) medals. This year four producers received the high number of three Gran d’Ors each. They were Niel Joubert Wines, Durbanville Hills, Saronsberg and Windmeul Kelder.

•  225 gold medals were awarded. Durbanville Hills and KWV received six gold medals each while Robertson Winery was awarded five gold medals.

•  269 silver medals
Only one third of all entries are awarded medals, according to the international system by which the competition is run.

Highlights of the classes:
Particularly high scores were received by Shiraz, Natural Sweet, Botrytis and Fortified Wines, MCC, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc.

The judges made a point of mentioning the overall quality of the Méthode Cap Classique and Botrytis wines, the smaller Single Red Varieties where terroir expression was a significant factor, and Port-style wines.

•  The largest number of entries were received in the class for Sauvignon Blanc, namely 198 entries. In this class was awarded: seven Gran d’Ors, 16 gold medals and 49 silver medals.
•  The largest red class, namely Shiraz, attracted 166 entries. Here were awarded three platinum medals, nine Gran d’Ors, 19 gold medals and 24 silver medals. 
• The Pinotage class received a record number of entries this year, namely 119. The judges awarded two trophies, one platinum medal, two Gran d’Ors, 16 gold and 21 silver medals.
•  Chenin Blanc showed a marked increase of 25%, resulting in 126 entries. 
• MCC entries increased by almost 20% with a total of 71 entries. In this category the following were awarded: two trophies, two platinums medals, six Gran d’Ors, seven gold medals and eleven silver medals.
•  A total of 92 entries were received in the fortified and unfortified dessert wine classes. Here the judges awarded one trophy, one platinum medal, ten Grand d’Ors, 19 gold and six silver medals.

The trophy winners:
COLLOTYPE LABELS GRAND PRIX - Eagles’ Nest Wines Shiraz 2012

COLLOTYPE LABELS DESSERT WINE GRAND PRIX - Nuy Wit Muskadel 2007

THE BEST INTERNATIONAL ENTRY - Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (Australia)

MOST INNOVATIVE WINE - De Krans Methode Cap Classique 2013

JF HILLEBRAND PINOTAGE TROPHY - Lanzerac Pinotage 2013

LIQUEUR TROPHY WINNER - Vedrenne Supercassis Blackcurrant

AFRICAN CELLAR SUPPLIERS (ACS) MCC TROPHY - The Barnardt Boyes for their 2011 Carrol Boyes MCC

GOLDEN OLDIE TROPHY - The KWV Limited Release 1948 Port

THE RX GROUP ORGANIC TROPHY - Lazanou Organic Vineyards for Lazanou Syrah/Mourvedre 2013

TONELERIA NACIONAL COFFEE PINOTAGE TROPHY - Conradie Family Vineyards Pinotage 2013

BRANDY TROPHY - KWV Laborie Alambic

FAIRTRADE BEST WHITE WINE - Koopmanskloof Wingerde for their Sauvignon Blanc 2015

FAIRTRADE BEST RED WINE - Van Loveren Tangled Tree Cellar Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2013

TM MERCUREY TROPHY FOR BEST FRENCH STYLE (Bordeaux) RED BLEND - Woolworths for Diemersdal Reserve Collection Merlot/Malbec 2014

GARAGISTE TROPHY - Hofstraat Kelder, for the Renosterbos Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

The detailed results are available on the websiteand Facebook page.

The 2015 judging panel
1. Jean-Marc Amez-Droz (Switzerland)
2. Christine Austin (UK)
3. Helena Baker (Czech Republic)
4. Dr Marin Berovič (Slovenia)
5. Michel Blanc (France)
6. Keith Bodine (USA)
7. Liam Campbell (Ireland)
8. Sagi Cooper (Israel)
9. Roz Crowley (Ireland)
10. Helen Frith (New Zealand)
11. Vili Galabova (Bulgaria)
12. Dr József Kosárka (Hungary)
13. Denis Garrett (France)
14. Dave Hughes (South Africa) (Brandy and Spirits judge)
15. Wolfgang Junglas (Germany)
16.Subhash Arora (India)
17. Gregory Mutambe (South Africa)
18. Mark Van Oversteeg (Netherlands)
19. Sue Van Wyk (Australia)
20. Dr Caroline Snyman (South Africa) (Brandy and Spirits judge)

•  Biographical details can be found on ww.michelangeloawards.com.

Tel: +27.218652355   Fax: +27.865607145   Email: info@koopmanskloof.co.za  
P.O. Box 19, Koelenhof, 7605, South Africa