Flagstone : Trust Your Taste

Contributors

Chief Winemaker Bruce Jack

Bruce Jack

A Capetonian whose curiosity and palate has taken him the length and breadth of the globe. Bruce completed his undergrad in Political Science and Literature at UCT and then read his Masters in Literature at St Andrew’s in Scotland. His subsequent winemaking degree came from the Roseworthy Campus at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Bruce is a pioneer, and in many respects a maverick, and what he brings to winemaking is an articulate opinion about his greatest passion.

Food Alchemist & Kitchen Cowboy Peter Goffe-Wood

Peter Goffe-Wood

Peter is on the judging panel for the San Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants in the World, as well as the Diners Club Wine list of the year. Born in London, he trained in South Africa and returned to work with some of Britain's top chefs in several award-winning London restaurants.

Back in South Africa, he helped to open the La Couronne Hotel & Winery (now Mont Rochelle) in Franschhoek. Conde Nast Traveller named it as one of the fifty most exciting restaurants in the world.

Peter has worked to develop some of the Cape’s best and busiest restaurants, including Blues, 95 Keerom Str, Balducci’s & Salt. GQ magazine took him on as food editor for eight years and he is a regular contributor to Men’s Health. Peter is author of Kitchen Cowboys and Blues Restaurant – the essence of Cape Town.

He featured alongside Ainsley Harriot on BBC Food’s Off the Menu and now appears as a judge on MasterChef SA.

Editor Andrew Arnott

Andrew Arnott

Andrew studied Literature and Sociology at UCT before setting off on a global trek that saw him working under the seas of the Caribbean, on the snow covered slopes of the Canadian Rockies and writing for a variety of financial and travel institutions. Now at home in Cape Town, Andrew’s passions for wine and writing are married on this blog.

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Shiraz Stars for 2017 Announced

A dozen remarkable Shiraz wines and three impressive Shiraz blends captured the limelight during the fifth annual Shiraz Challenge awards ceremony held on 31 May at the Rhebokskloof Wine Estate in Paarl.

by Michael Olivier

Fans of this noble cultivar can safely set their sights on these front-runners when next they find themselves facing the extensive range of wines on the shelf of any retail space.

According to SA Shiraz chairperson Edmund Terblanche, some 220 wines vied for inclusion in the top echelon – a steady climb of entries since the inception of the competition in 2013. “Initially we focused only on Shiraz, but soon after we invited winemakers to put forward their best blends as we see this competition as an encompassing celebration of Shiraz,” he says. “We’ve witnessed consistent growth in the blends category – not only for the Rhône style, but for all compositions where Shiraz remains the leading component.”

2017’s Top Shiraz Wines:

Cederberg Shiraz 2015
D’Aria The Soprano Shiraz 2015
Eagles’ Nest Shiraz 2014
Fairview Beacon Shiraz 2014
Fairview Swartland Shiraz 2014
Flagstone Dark Horse Shiraz 2013
KWV Cathedral Cellar Shiraz 2015
La Motte Pierneef Syrah Viognier 2015
Rustenberg Buzzard Kloof Syrah 2015
Saronsberg Shiraz 2015
Strandveld Syrah 2013
Wildekrans Barrel Select Reserve Shiraz 2015

The Top 3 Shiraz Blends:

Bellingham The Bernard Series SMV 2014
Rustenberg Stellenbosch RM Nicholson 2015
Saronsberg Full Circle 2015

Attendees of the award ceremony had the opportunity to taste the 25 Shiraz finalists and the top 10 Shiraz blends and the winners were served with lunch.

Eight esteemed judges took responsibility for the stringent adjudication process, with Dr Andy Roediger at the helm. Which started for him as a lightweight interest in wine and a consequent wine course at the Wine Academy, had led to producing his own Garagiste wines and completing his Cape Wine Master thesis on Phenolic ripeness in South Africa. Roediger shares his expertise with many leading wine producers by carrying out phenolic ripeness analyses on a commercial basis in his laboratory.

The rest of the judging line-up included Charles Hopkins (De Grendel cellar master), Cathy van Zyl (British Master of Wine), Pearl Oliver (head sommelier at the Taj Hotel in Cape Town), Edmund Terblanche (La Motte cellar master and Shiraz SA chairperson), Samarie Smit (wine writer and editor of Die Burger: Versnit and regular judge at Veritas and the SA Young Wine Show) and Maryna Huysamen (Cape Wine Makers Guild protégé). Huysamen’s inclusion serves as training to provide exposure for future judges.
International wine judge Claus Fischer joined the team for the first time. Fischer applies his academic background in chemistry in the wine environment, having focused amongst others on the development of an aroma wheel for German wines. Fischer remarked about the impressive speed of the tastings which delivered such high standard, in-depth scorings.



This piece was originally published in …

Michael Oliver

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