The Sommeliers Selection is South Africa’s first South African wine competition judged solely by a panel of South Africa’s Top Sommeliers, in categories moulded around those of a “wine list.” The South African Sommeliers on the panel all have extensive local and international judging and work experience. Their in-depth knowledge of international and local markets and what the public is looking for in their drinking wines, or pairing with food wines is unparalleled.
2018’s judging took place at the beginning of June, with the awards being announced on the 26th of July. De Grendel is incredibly proud to have won two awards this year – the De Grendel Merlot 2016 in the category Elegant & Classy – Reds, and the De Grendel Rubaiyat 2015 in the category Voluptuous & Rich – Reds.
All wines are tasted blind, and listed wines are placed on “The Sommeliers Selection Wine list” which is sent to restaurants country wide with the stamp of approval from the judges.
A classically poetic Bordeaux style blend consisting of a quatrain of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, the Rubaiyat was named after Omar Khayyam’s exquisite collection of 1000 Persian love poems from the 10th century, held dear by the late Sir David, and is De Grendel’s flagship wine, first made in 2006. Perfumed violets on the nose precede luscious blackcurrant and black cherry aromas underpinned by nuances of cedar, graphite and tobacco leaf. Exceptionally elegant pomegranate and plum unfurl on the palate, nuanced by hints of fruitcake and spice with a bold tea leaf tannin finish.The De Grendel Merlot 2016 has a beautiful gem-like ruby colour with garnet flashing around the edges and first reveals a delicate all-sorts of berries – red, black and blue – followed by the alluring aroma of aniseed, cedar and liquorice which are all carried through on the palette. It offers a classic elegance and has a texture that is smooth and well-rounded, lingering a while to remind you of its balance and elegance.