Spier’s senior winemaker, Johan Jordaan, joins the elite line-up of winners of the annual Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Award.
The category for this year’s competition was Bordeaux-style red blends and Jordaan scooped the title with his Spier Creative Block 5 2009.
His was one of 110 entries and the judges said the final selection was a difficult one, as there were several extremely fine wines in the line-up.
The Spier Creative Block 5 is made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec.
Judging panel chairman Dave Hughes said the 2009 vintage was probably the Cape’s best vintage in the past 15 years. He added that entrants in this year’s competition had shown once again that South Africa was capable of producing wines good enough to compete with the top wines in the world. The winning wine was described as having “a great balance of fruit, tannins and alcohol”.
This year’s Young Winemaker of the year was Matthew van Heerden of Uva Mira in the Durbanville Valley.
The category for this contest was “any white wine”.
His winning wine was a stunning single vineyard Chardonnay aged in new French oak for 11 months. It was selected from an entry of 64 wines. Van Heerden serves as chairman of the SA Chardonnay Forum and is passionate about the cultivar.
It is interesting to see the wine is not dominated by big oak vanilla flavours in spite of its time in new French oak barrels. It’s fresh and tangy, with lemon notes up front – an extremely elegant and charming wine, delicate, but full-bodied at the same time.
The Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Award was inaugurated in 1981 and the winner’s prize includes a free trip to any winemaking country of his or her choice.
The Young Winemaker of the Year Award has been running for 11 years and its prize is a trophy and R25 000 in cash.