South Africa has put in another stellar performance at this year’s International Wine Challenge, increasing its share of medals for 2018. The eighth largest producer of wine in the world was awarded 303 medals overall, including 15 Golds, 127 Silver and 161 Bronze.
Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Riesling – all achieve top marks
Of its 15 Golds, South African white wines dominated with a total of ten Gold medals.
Ahead of the pack with the highest overall scores of 96 were Boschendal, Elgin Chardonnay 2016 and Stellenrust, Old Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2016 – along with a late harvest Riesling, of which more in a moment.
As the most widely planted variety in South Africa Chenin Blanc led the way for white wines, picking up four Gold medals in total, mostly from the Stellenrust Wine Estate in Stellenbosch: Stellenrust, 52 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2016; Stellenrust, Old Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2016; Stellenrust, 53 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2017; and Kleine Zalze, Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc 2017
Other Gold winning whites included two further Chardonnays: La Couronne, Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2016 and Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards, The Single Tree Chardonnay 2015 – and two Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blends: Constantia, Glen Two 2017 and Cape Point Vineyards, Isliedh 2016.
Finally, there was a Gold medal for Paul Cluver, Noble Late Harvest 2017, a botrytis Riesling which scored an impressive 96 points.