The Taj Classic Wine Trophy competition played out last night over rare lamb racks that went down in the record books as the best awards dinner main, ever. Anel and Samarie (below) clearly agreed. The starter of Franschhoek salmon trout was not too shabby either and the wines matched both courses exceptionally well as of the 14 wines awarded, no fewer than 13 were identified with a geographic appellation.
The evening’s big winner was Gottfried Mocke from Chamonix. His Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and wooded Sauvignon Blanc wowed both international judges plus local pundits from GQ magazine and he will be filling three of the six places in the magazine’s selection, which will be also destined for the Taj wine list, now elegantly sommeliered by Tatiana Marcetteau, one of the judges.
There were two big surprises: a 2012 DGB Sémillon from Franschhoek Vineyards (a Franschhoek WO) and a late harvest Riesling 2011 in an etiolated Alsatian bottle from Perdeberg Winery (Paarl WO). There was a battle royale for favourite white between the Chamonix and Hamilton Russell Chardonnays, both 2011 while André van Rensburg, the “V” in Vergelegen, holds his top two Cabernets (below) in a loving embrace.
Olivier Poels, editor of La Revue du VIN de France (which now boasts a Chinese edition), agreed that terroir is the way forward for SA wine and he will be showcasing the wines in Paris at the end of May. Not a bad result for SA and full marks to show chairman Christophe Durand for putting on such an efficient and humble competition which turns a Gallic spotlight on SA wine.