There’s nothing like a glass of rich port wine to warm the cockles on a chilly winter’s evening. And whether we’re allowed to call them “port” or not, the fact is that our South African port-style wines are as good as – and in some cases, better than – anything the Portuguese can offer.
This was the opinion of international wine judge, Dave Hughes, who headed the panel of judges (all masters of wine) that selected the Cape’s Top 10 ports.
For the first time this year the annual Cappa Port and Wine Challenge included a category for table wines made from Portuguese grape varieties like Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barocca and Souzao. To qualify for this category the wines had to contain at least 30% of a Portuguese variety. This class attracted a total of 21 entries.
As can be expected, the wines of Calitzdorp featured large on the list of winners.
Overall winner in the port section, with the title of “Best in Show,” was KWV’s Cape Tawny, while De Krans took the honours in the Cape Vintage Reserve category.
The Cape Vintage category attracted the most entries, and here gold medals went to De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve 2008, Calitzdorp Cape Vintage 2009, Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2010, Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2007, Bergsig 2001 and the Axe Hill Cape Vintage 2009.
In the Cape Ruby class top honours went to Boplaas Ruby non-vintage.
The Museum Class is always an interesting one, especially in a category like port, where ageing is accepted as an almost essntial part of the charm. This category is open to wines that are older than 10 years. Honours here were shared between the De Krans Cape Vintage 2002 and the Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2001.
Top scorers in the table wine section were Boplaas Tinta Chocolat 2011 (made from Tinta Barocca), Overgaauw Touriga Nacional/ Cabernet blend 2010, Boplaas Tinta Barocca 2009, De Krans Tinta Mocha 2011, Vergenoegd Runner Duck Red 2009, Allesverloren Touriga Nacional 2009, Axe Hill Mochado 2011, Calitzdorp Touriga Nacional 2010 and Woolworths Boplaas Portuguese Connection 2011.
In line with the new naming regulations, the organization, formerly the South African Port Producers’ Association, SAPPA, is now calling itself the Cape Port Producers’ Association, CAPPA , which sounds to me rather like a Mafia connection, (Cappa Nostra?) but I am sure their intentions are benign.
I suspect I shall be drinking a significant number of their products in the chilly months ahead.
It’s a great way to cut down on electricity costs.