Le Grand Chasseur walked away from the South African Young Wine Show with a haul of 16 medals and a trophy for the best dry red blend in the Robertson region last month.
Winemaker Carel Botha said their wines went head to head with almost 2 000 others from across the country at one of the oldest wine competitions in the world.
He explained wines from this season could be entered into five different categories and more than 90 classes.
Each wine – sampled by judges between July 24 and 28 – was awarded either a gold, silver, bronze or no medal and the top wine in each category received a trophy.
Wines were scored by seven qualified judges and one novice (whose scoring did not count) according to a 100-point system.
“We entered 16 of our wines into 15 classes,” explained Botha. “Two were entered into the same class and, of the 16 we entered, we received 16 medals.”
He said the Western Cape winery, which forms part of the Habata Agri farming concern, received six silver and 10 bronze medals and were adjudged the winners in six classes.
Le Grand Chasseur also won a trophy for the best dry red blend for their Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot.
Botha explained that a wine could win a class with, for example, a silver medal if no gold medals were awarded.
He said this year’s medal haul was a great improvement from the previous harvest when they entered seven wines and won gold for their Chardonnay.
With entries from across the country, Botha said the competition had been fierce and the judging strict.
“Only five golds were awarded from over 200 wines in the Robertson region,” he said.
With a trophy to boast about, Botha confirmed they would bottle their award-winning wine and make it available for public consumption.
“We’ll also bottle some of the others that won silver and bronze medals,” he said.
For those wanting to sample the estate’s dry red, Botha said they could expect a soft, well-structured blend that consisted of 70% Cabernet and 30% Merlot.
“These grape varieties work very well together. It is a young, non-wooded wine but the Merlot softens the blend so it tastes like it could have been aged for a while.”
He added tones of various berries would pleasure the palate of those who tried the unwooded wine.