Record entries received for the 18th Michelangelo Awards

Jury Michelangelo 2014 copy

“It’s been an absolutely magnificent year for Michelangelo,” says Lorraine Immelman, founder and owner of the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards. Not only have we had an all-time record number of entries – 1730 in total from 322 producers – but 2014 has also been a year of “firsts”!

Collotype Labels has come on board as premier sponsor of the awards, ensuring that the competition will continue and grow. A new, more elegant logo and user-friendly website was launched this week and an exciting Michelangelo Wine Club, run and managed by IQ Business, has been established in Johannesburg.

Now in it’s 18th year, the Michelangelo announced South Africa’s first Liqueur Awards in June, offering producers of liqueur and fruit spirits a first-ever platform to have their products judged by an international panel of specialist judges.

The Michelangelo is the only wine competition in South Africa with an exclusive international panel of accredited wine judges, international wine makers, wine masters and international sommeliers. This year again 18 wine and spirits specialists from 15 countries judged the entries for a week in August.

In total the judges awarded 607 medals, which represent just over a third of entries (as per the international OIV rules to which the Michelangelo ascribes). Awards comprised:

  • 16 trophies
  • 3 platinum medals
  • 90 Gran d’Or medals
  • 222 gold medals
  • 292 silver medals

This included the inaugural Liqueur Trophy as well as three Grans d’Or, five gold and seven silver medals for liqueurs.

Offering guidelines for international markets:

“This year’s 22% increase in entries is an indication of the wine industry’s dramatic move to international markets over the past decade. As the world becomes smaller and the South African market becomes more and more saturated, producers are investigating more exports or their products. Michelangelo offers them the opportunity to gauge the international market and find those products which will appeal to international palates. The awards made by our international panel of judges offers these guidelines,” says Lorraine.

Classes’ detail:

  • The Sauvignon Blanc class again received the most entries among the white varietals, increasing to 178 from the previous record number already received in 2013. This class was awarded one platinum, nine Grans d’Or, 18 gold and 35 silver medals. The judges commented that the overall quality of the Sauvignon Blancs were impressive, and that the concentration of fruit and excellent fruit balance made for some exceptional wines.
  • The Chardonnay class also received a significant number of entries, namely 133. These wines were well received by the international panel, who commented that they exhibited good wine making skills. Where wines were exposed to oak, it was used wisely and few examples were over-oaked. The judges found that the 2014 entries lacked balance and persistence, which was partly due to the lack of acid. Four Gran d’Ors, fifteen gold and 21 silver medals were awarded in this class.
  • A record number of 65 entries was received for the Method Cap Classique classes. Four Grans d’Or, eight gold and nine silver medals were awarded. The judges considered the MCC’s to be impressive and commented that the Cape is a top quality MCC producer and that producers should market this more effectively. The highest scoring wines in this class included Chardonnay and/or Pinot Noir in the blend.
  • The Shiraz class had the overall most entries with 207 wines. Two Grans d’Or, 33 gold and 30 silver medals were awarded. The judges stated that the entries represented many great examples of South African Shiraz and that entries showed a variety of styles ranging from big, fruity wines to more elegant ones.
  • The Pinotage class received good comments from the judges. Generally they were impressed with the wines entered and noted a number of different styles. They commented that a few years in the bottle makes all the difference to the overall quality and accessibility of the wines. The 2011 vintage was the most impressive with wines from this vintage year being well-integrated and showing good balance. Eight gran d’or, 23 gold and 13 silver medals were awarded.
  • The class for Port-style wines is a small category but this class had excellent samples. Most of these showed good spirit integration and were well-balanced while the better wines had super fruit concentration, freshness and complexity. In this class respectively two gran d’or, gold and silver medals were awarded.

According to the competition rules no bronze medals are awarded and only the top third of entrants are awarded a medal.

The trophy winners:

Kleine Zalze walked away with two trophies this year:

  1. the coveted Collotype Labels Grand Prix Trophy for the Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2013 awarded by the judges as their collective best entry and
  2. the African Cellar Supplies MCC Trophy for the Kleine Zalze Vintage Brut 2009.

The first Liqueur Trophy was awarded to Wild Africa Cream Liqueur from KWV, who also received the Best Brandy Trophy for the Imoya VSOP Fine Cape Alambic Brandy. 

The 16 trophy winners:

Collotype Grand Prix Trophy Kleine Zalze Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Chenin Blanc, 2013
Grotto Top Producer Trophy Saronsberg
IQ Business Most Innovative Trophy Diemersdal Wine Estate Diemersdal Grüner Veltliner, 2013
African Cellar Supplies MCC Trophy Kleine Zalze Kleine Zalze Vintage Brut, 2009
RX South Africa Organic Trophy Waverley Hills Waverley Hills Shiraz/Mourverde/Voignier, 2010
Best Fairtrade Red Van Loveren Family Cellar Five’s Reserve Pinotage, 2013
Best Fairtrade White Citrusdal Wines Chardonnay, 2014
Garagiste Trophy Hofstraat Kelder Cape Vintage, 2009
AfriRack Best Dessert Wine Trophy Badsberg Wine Cellar Badsberg Noble Late Harvest, 2009
Sue van Wyk Pinotage Trophy Beyerskloof Beyerskloof Diesl Pinotage, 2009
TM Mercurey Best Bordeaux Style Red Blend Zorgvliet Wines Silver Myn Argentum, 2012
Toneleria Nacional Coffee Pinotage Trophy Diemersfontein Diemersfontein Pinotage, 2013
Golden Oldie Trophy Boland Kelder Boland Kelder Rooi Muskadel, 1997
Brandy Trophy KWV SA Imoya Potstill Brandy
Best International Entry Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere, 2013
Best Liqueur Trophy KWV SA Wild Africa Cream Liqueur

Medal winners:

All entries were judged blind using the 100-point OIV judging system. The judging process and all results were audited by DDI Financial Solutions.

The following wines were awarded platinum medals:

Producer Product Vintage
Badsberg Wine Cellar Badsberg Noble Late Harvest 2009
Louisvale Wines Stone Road Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Waverley Hills Organic Wine Farm Waverley Hills Shiraz/Mourverde/Viognier 2010

The following wines were awarded Grand D’Or medals:

Producer Product Vintage
Aan De Doorns Wynkelder Aan De Doorns Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Alleé Bleue Wines Alleé Bleue Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2012
Alvi’s Drift Wines Alvi’s Drift Signature Viognier 2014
Alvi’s Drift Wines Alvi’s Drift Thornlands MCC NV
Babylon’s Peak Babylon’s Peak SMG 2010
Babylonstoren Babylonstoren Viognier 2013
Baleia Bay Wines Chardonnay 2013
Bergsig Estate Bergsig Weisser Riesling 2013
Beyerskloof Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2009
Boland Kelder Boland Cellar Reserve No 1 2013
Boland Kelder Boland Cellar Reserve No1 2011
Boplaas Family Vineyards Boplaas Bobbejaanberg Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Boplaas Family Vineyards Boplaas Heritage Muscadel 2011
Boplaas Family Vineyards Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2010
Boschendal Wines Boschendal Reserve Collection Grande Reserve 2012
Boschkloof Boschkloof Syrah 2012
Brandvlei Kelder BC Wines Shiraz 2012
Citrusdal Wines Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Claime d’or Wines Claime d’or Shiraz 2011
Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere (Country of Origin: Chile) 2013
Constantia Uitsig Farm Constantia Uitsig Semillon 2013
D’Aria Winery D’Aria Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2012
De Wetshof Estate De Wetshof Bateleur Chardonnay 2012
Demorgenzon Demorgenzon Chenin Blanc Reserve 2013
Diemersdal Wine Estate Diemersdal Chardonnay reserve 2013
Diemersdal Wine Estate Diemersdal MM Louw Estate Red 2012
Diemersdal Wine Estate Diemersdal Private Collection 2012
Du Plessis Family Wines Virgin Earth Lost Barrel Shiraz 2007
Dunstone Wines Dunstone Shiraz 2012
Durbanville Hills Durbanville Hills Chardonnay 2013
Earthbound Earthbound Chenin Blanc 2014
Elgin Vintners Elgin Vintners The Century 2012
Ernie Els Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Excelsior Estate Excelsior Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Flagstone Winery Flagstone Dark Horse Shiraz 2010
Flagstone Winery Flagstone Dragon Tree 2012
Gabba International cc Codorniu Vina Pomal Crianza (Country of Origin: Spain) 2011
Glen Carlou Vineyards Glen Carlou Gravel Quarry 2009
Groenland Groenland Shiraz Premium 2010
Groenland Antoinette Marie Classic 2010
Hidden Valley Wines Hidden Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Hofstraat Kelder Renosterbos Cape Vintage 2009
Hornbill Garagiste Winery Hornbill Pinotage 2011
Jason’s Hill Private Cellar Jason’s Hill Classic Red 2012
Klein Gustrouw Klein Gustrouw Reserve 2011
Kleine Zalze Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2013
Kleine Zalze Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Kleine Zalze Kleine Zalze Vintage Brut 2009
KWV KWV The Mentors Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
KWV SA Imoya Brandy NA
Lanzerac Wines Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage 2011
Lemberg Wine Estate Spencer 2012
Lourensford Wine Estate Winemaker’s Selection Viognier 2013
Lourensford Wine Estate Winemaker’s Selection Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2011
MAN Vintners Tormentoso Reserve 2012
Merwida Vineyards Merwida Barbera 2012
Mont Du Toit Les Coteaux Cabernet Franc 2012
Mooiplaas Chenin Blanc Bush Vines 2013
Namaqua Wines Namaqua Noble Late Harvest 2013
Newstead Lund Family Vineyards Methode Cap Classique Brut 2012
Nitida Cellars Nitida Riesling 2014
Nuy Winery Nuy 50 Vintages Red Muscadel NV
Ormonde Vineyards Ormonde Vernon Basson 2008
Perdeberg Winery The Dry Land Collection Chardonnay/Viognier 2013
Perdeberg Winery Perdeberg Reserve Pinot Noir MCC 2012
Pulpit Rock Winery Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Rhebokskloof Estate Pearlstone Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2012
Rijk’s Cellars Rijk’s Private Cellar Pinotage 2010
Robertson Winery No.1 Constitution Road Shiraz 2010
Rooiberg Winery Rooiberg Winery Red Muscadel 2012
Saronsberg Cellar Saronsberg Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Saronsberg Cellar Saronsberg Grenache 2011
Shannon Vineyards & Wines Shannon Mount Bullet 2010
Simonsvlei International Simonsvlei Pinotage 2013
Simonsvlei International Simonsvlei Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Spar Group Olive Brook Le Geminis 2010
Spier Wines Woolworths The Hutton Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Stellenrust Wine Estate Stellenrust Pinotage 2013
Swartland Winery Bush Vine Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Ultra Liquors Secret Cellar Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Welgemeend Estate Welgemeend Estate Chenin Blanc 2013
Windfall Wine Farm Windfall Shiraz 2012
Windmeul Koöp Wynkelder Windmeul Kelder Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Winery Baloun Baloun Cuvee 22 (Country of Origin: Czech Republic) 2013
Winters Drift Winters Drift Pinot Noir 2013
Wonderfontein Wonderfontein Red Muscadel 2011
Zorgvliet Wines Silver Myn Argentum 2012

The 2014 judging panel

This year the judging panel consisted of 18 judges from fifteen different countries. The 2014 judges were:

  1. Sue van Wyk CWM, Australia (Technical director)
  2. Ingrid Adamiker, Austria
  3. Chris Alblas, Netherlands
  4. Jochen Erler, Austria (Liqueur specialist)
  5. Rubén García Franco, Spain
  6. Adrian Garforth MW, UK
  7. Denis Garret, France
  8. Robert Gorjak, Slovenia
  9. Cho Jung Yong, Korea
  10. Mariusz Kapczynski , Poland
  11. Martin Kristek, Czech Republic
  12. Georgi Mihov, Bulgaria
  13. Dermot Nolan MW, Ireland
  14. Liz Palmer, Canada (Champagne specialist)
  15. Javier Pulido, Spain
  16. Christine Rudman, CWM, SA
  17. Thierry Sabon, France
  18. Rene van Hoven, Netherlands

The brandy and spirits judges:

  1. Sue van Wyk CWM, Australia
  2. Kobus Gelderblom, South Africa
  3. Javier Pulido, Spain
  4. Caroline Snyman, South Africa
  5. Rene van Hoven, Netherlands
  6. All results are available from the website: www.michelangeloawards.com.
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