Flagstone Dark Horse 2017 in Shiraz SA Top 12

Shiraz SA has announced the winners of its ninth annual Shiraz Challenge. This is the 4th-time Flagstone’s Dark Horse Shiraz is featured in Shiraz SA’s Top 12. Our previous vintages include 2016, 2015 and 2013.

The 12 Shiraz wines singled out for 2021 are:

• Cederberg Shiraz 2018
• Driehoek Syrah 2019
• Koelfontein Shiraz 2019
• Landskroon Paul de Villiers Shiraz 2019
• Flagstone Dark Horse Shiraz 2017
• Neil Ellis Groenekloof Syrah 2019
• Glen Carlou Syrah 2019
• Rooiberg Winery Shiraz Reserve 2019
• Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Shiraz 2017
• Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Shiraz 2018
• Saronsberg Shiraz 2019
• Stellenbosch Vineyards Credo Shiraz 201

Global supplier of complete wine closure solutions, Vinventions SA was the principal sponsor.

One of the leaders in the latest label printing technology, Lebone Paarl Labels, stepped in as new sponsor of the bottle stickers for winning wines.

General manager Henk Jacobs had the following to say: “Lebone Paarl Labels considers it a privilege to be part of this grand event and to be involved with Shiraz SA. Our heartiest congratulations to the winners of 2021.”


The judging panel chaired for the ninth year by Cape Wine Master Dr Andy Roediger, comprised a new line-up of experienced tasters:

• Frans Smit (Spier Cellar Master),

• Elzette du Preez (Winemaker and member of the Shiraz SA management team),

• Richard Kershaw (British Master of Wine and winemaker/owner of Richard Kershaw Wines) and

• Paul Benadé (Cape Wine Master).

The judging process, developed in conjunction with the University of Stellenbosch and implemented since 2018, was followed.

The format eliminates inter-session discussion of wines and requires every judge to taste wines arranged in a unique order.

Wine MS, software and support provider, onboard since the inception of the Challenge in 2013, put their newly developed cloud-based app for judging and tasting to use for the first time in this competition. Monitoring the entire judging process and auditing the results to ensure the competition’s credibility, was auditing company The Exceed Group.

Panel convenor Dr Andy Roediger commented as follows: “The quality of Shiraz wines keeps increasing and this makes it exceedingly difficult to select the winning wines as there are so many excellent wines at the top level. A tendency that has emerged during this year’s judging, is that the wines tend to be more fruit-driven, making the differentiation compared to old world wines and other countries more distinctive.

“Often aromatics come to the forefront rather than the herbaceous character of the old world, yet maintaining a full-bodied mouthfeel. The spiciness is evident and perhaps to my mind, the pepper notes were not as evident as years have gone by. Lower alcohol levels are also apparent so, in summary, the Shiraz wines are of earlier drinking styles than in years gone by.”

National Shiraz Day

During the online presentation, the chairman of Shiraz SA Edmund Terblanche announced that Shiraz SA has recently decided to proclaim 21 August National Shiraz Day. “International Shiraz Day is 16 February, a date picked for the Northern hemisphere winter, but not ideal for South Africa as this is the height of our summer. August is the perfect opportunity to showcase Shiraz and also to drive our Seven Days of Shiraz & Venison event.”

Asked why the choice fell on 21 August, Terblanche commented: “We did a tremendous amount of research around Bernard J Podlashuk, considered the father of South African Shiraz, but with limited information available this was the closest date we could come up with.”

Purchase your bottles of Flagstone Dark Horse Shiraz online

In accordance with the latest Adjusted Alert Level 4 Restrictions Flagstone wines is unable to process any orders until further notice. You are welcome to place your orders now for delivery as soon as the restrictions are lifted.