De Grendel Triumphs with a Trophy and Three Double Gold Medals at the Michelangelo Awards 2018
In one of the most competitive line-ups in the 22 year history of the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirts Awards, De Grendel walked away with pride winning the African Cellar Suppliers Pinot Noir Trophy with their Op Die Berg Pinot Noir 2015 as well as 3 Double Gold medals, awarded to the De Grendel Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc 2017 and 2013 as well as the Elim Shiraz 2016, a wine exclusively available to the De Grendel Loyalty Club.
De Grendel Op Die Berg Pinot Noir 2015 is nourished by the unique terroir of the Graaff family farm in the Witzenberg Mountains in Ceres. At an altitude of 960 meters above sea level, winter snowfalls often cover the vineyards which facilitates gradual ripening for a concentrated, elegant and terroir driven wine.
Bright cherry red in colour, the Op Die Berg Pinot Noir has perfumed dried rose petals on the nose followed by luscious red cherry, raspberry and blueberry aromas underscored by nuances of clove and earthy fynbos. An entry of tart cranberry and black plum on the palate is emboldened by fruity pomegranate tannins before finishing with soft, velvety elegance. The Op Die Berg Pinot Noir pairs well with a wide range of food including chicken, veal, richer venison, lamb and ever spicier curried dishes.
“We are incredibly proud to have received a trophy for our De Grendel Op Die Berg Pinot Noir 2015 as well as 3 Double Gold medals from the Michelangelo Awards this year,” says Charles Hopkins, winemaker at De Grendel. “Our Pinot Noir is made with grapes coming from the unique Witzenberg Mountains, 960 meters above sea level. Due to the chemical composition, Pinot Noir is initially very closed and only opens up to its true potential only after 3 to 4 years.”
Grapes for the De Grendel Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc are picked riper and received longer skin contact than normal resulting in a Sauvignon Blanc that leans more towards a fuller and richer style with intense hints of minerality, gooseberries and green pepper on the nose and palate.
The De Grendel Elim Shiraz 2016, a wine sold only in 1,5 litre magnum bottles, is made from grapes carefully sourced from the Elim area where the combination of unique soil types, a cool maritime climate and careful vine management facilitate a consistent rotundone concentration in the fruit – the black pepper compound. This wine is exclusively available to De Grendel Loyalty Club members.
This year the Michelangelo Awards received a total of 2,225 entries now making Michelangelo the largest competition of its kind on the African continent and one of the leaders in the southern hemisphere. Out of these entries the international judging panel awarded 26 trophies and 150 double gold medals.
Since its inception Michelangelo has differentiated itself from other competitions in using a judging panel comprising a majority of international wine and spirits experts. Lorraine Immelman, founder and CEO of the Michelangelo Awards says that the judges were unanimous in their view that South Africa was making the finest wines in its history, complemented by a diverse and exciting component of top-quality spirits.
“This year’s judges included British Masters of Wine, sommeliers, wine and spirits producers, educators, spirits experts and influential journalists from Europe, the Far East and the Americas, some of whom have judged on numerous Michelangelo Awards panels in the past,” says Immelman. “The quality of wines is at a noticeable all-time high, with the brandies and other spirits termed world-class in terms of distillation technique and diversity of flavour.”
“The high number of double gold medals certainly reflects the judges’ comments and the scores which were returned this year,” says Immelman. “Despite an extra workload due to the record number of entries, judges were unanimous in agreeing that the standard of entries was the highest it has ever been in terms of both the wine and spirits categories.”