Danielle Jacobs from Boschendal, overall winner, and her Champion Sabrage Sword for Best Overall Cap Classique. Pic: Supplied

A Museum Class Cap Classique from Boschendal wine estate was crowned overall winner at this year’s Amorim Cap Classique Challenge.

This competition, which has been held since 2002, is the only competition directed at exclusively recognising the Cap Classique category of South African bottle-fermented sparkling wines.

The winning wine was Boschendal’s Jean le Long Prestige Cuvée 2008. Made from 100% Chardonnay grapes sourced from high-altitude, cool climate vineyards, the wine spent 60 months on the lees in bottle, and another 72 months on the cork.

This is the first time in the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge that a Museum Class wine was crowned as the competition’s overall winner. Museum Class represents wines of eight years or older and until 2019 they have not been eligible for the overall winner accolade.

134 Entries were received for this year’s Amorim Cap Classique Challenge, the most in its 18 year history.

Since last year the competition has included the growing category of Demi-Sec Cap Classiques, and this year saw Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Satin Nectar Rosé 2017 as the first wine to win a trophy in the Demi-Sec category.

Amorim Cork, the world’s leading supplier of cork stoppers to the international wine industry has been the sponsor of this competition since the start. 

Speaking at the awards ceremony held at the 12 Apostles Hotel&Spa on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard, Amorim South Africa MD Joaquim Sá said this competition aims to recognise the world-class wines made in the Cap Classique category.

Heidi Duminy, Cape Wine Master and chair of the panel of judges relished the number of wines scrutinised over the two-day judging period.

“What a wonderful show of a record 134 entries and what a great challenge to rise to!” she said. “This year was very exciting along the length and breadth of styles and quality. There is a tangible sense of intentional decision and stylistic direction amongst the classes with an outstanding average quality that can proudly call itself Cap Classique.”

This year’s judges under Duminy’s chair were:

  • Spencer Fondaumiere, Sommelier and SA Sommeliers Association Vice Chair, Cathy Marson
  • Wwine educator and journalist, Elunda Basson
  • Winemaker at Steenberg, Paul Gerber, winemaker at Colmant
  • Sydney Mello, CWG Protégé (associate judge)

The winners of the best MCC's: Charl Schoeman (Simonsig: Best Demi-Sec), Andiswa Mapheleba (Pongrácz: Best Brut), Danielle Jacobs (Boschendal: Best Museum Class and Overall Winner), Joaquim Sá (MD of Amorim SA), Elunda Basson (Steenberg: Best Rosé), JP Colmant (Colmant: Best Blanc de Blancs). Pic: Supplied

The full list of Trophy, Double Gold and Gold medal winners is as follows:

Blanc de Blancs: 

Colmant Blanc de Blanc NV (Trophy and Double Gold), L’Ormarins Blanc de Blancs 2013 (Double Gold). Gold medals went to Durbanville
Hills Blanc de Blancs 2016; Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs 2015; Tokara MCC 2012, Noble Hill Blanc de Blancs 2016.

Brut:

 Pongrácz Desiderius 2011 (Trophy and Double Gold). Gold Medal: Krone Borealis Brut 2018; Boschendal Grande Cuveé Brut 2014; Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut 2015; JC Le Roux Scintilla 2014.

Rosé: 

Steenberg 1682 Pinot Noir MCC N/V (Trophy and Double Gold). Gold Medal: Groot Constantia Brut Rosé MCC 2017; L'Ormarins Brut Rosé N/V; Domaine Des Dieux Rose of Sharon Rosé MCC 2011.

Demi-Sec: 

Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Satin Nectar Rosé 2017. (Trophy and Gold)

Museum Class:

Boschendal Jean Le Long Prestige Cuveé 2008 (Trophy and Double Gold). Gold Medals: Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs 2009; Spier Signature MCC 2009; Lourensford MCC Cuvée 108 2008.