The results of the annual RisCura Red Hot Wine Awards, featuring South African-made, Bordeaux-style red blends, were announced at Neil Grant’s ever trendy Burrata in Woodstock, Cape Town on 26 June.
Entries were received from 46 top producers and then tasted blind by the three-person panel, scoring each wine according to the 100-point quality scale. The trusted panel has notoriously high standards and awarded only 13 wines 90 points or higher and of these, nine were from Stellenbosch, once again affirming the region’s claim to being the epicentre of quality in South Africa for Bordeaux cultivars and blends. The Ernie Els Signature continued its run of exceptional ratings with the 2013 vintage being rated in the top-3 of all the entries with a score of 93 points. Only one wine scored higher. Ernie Els Wines head winemaker Louis Strydom (above centre) is pictured here with RisCura’s tasting panel chairman Christian Eedes (above right).
According to Eedes’ report: “South Africa’s top producers in this category now have a handle on generating wines showing fruit purity like never before. There are plenty of wines which are indeed very sexy on account of their luscious fruit, the fact that they involve blending arguably contributing to a more complete and less severe drinking experience than is the case with single-variety Cabernet Sauvignon.”
Of the 2013 Ernie Els Signature, the panel had this to say: “Red and black fruit, floral perfume, vanilla and spice. A powerful, luxuriously-styled wine with luscious fruit, bright acidity and smooth tannins. Extraordinarily rich and dense but still balanced and savoury.”
This latest RisCura Award is a yet another feather in winemaker Louis Strydom’s cap. Louis has been making the wines at Ernie Els Wines since inception, and this follows an exceptional 93 point rating from the prestigious Wine Spectator magazine for the 2012 vintage and no less than four Platter 5-star ratings over the years for the same wine.
Strydom says, “We have always believed that our terroir is ideally suited to Cabernet and the other Bordeaux cultivars and have been working hard over the years to fine-tune the intricacies of growing and blending these cultivars. As an example we currently have seven different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon in production on the estate and by the 2017 harvest we will have 11, each bringing a unique component and character to our blends, which adds wonderful complexity. The finer details are very important to us and we have always had a no-compromise attitude when it comes to quality so this award really means a lot to us.”
Tickets are available for an informative seated tasting of all of the wines rated above 90 points on 29 June 2016 at the Pear Tree Restaurant at The Cullinan Hotel in Cape Town. You’ll need to hurry, though, as there are only 60 seats available. For more information visit the websites: