South Africa took six gold medals at this year’s Concours Mondial du Sauvignon Blanc, the winning wines being Cederberg 2012, Delaire Graff Coastal Cuvée 2012, Diemersdal 2013, Lomond 2012, Strandveld 2012 and Totus 2009.
France dominated the competition with 51 of the total of 79 golds awarded but South Africa did well in relation to its southern hemisphere rivals, tying with Chile and emerging ahead of New Zealand which achieved four golds.
Judging of the 807 entries took place over Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April in Blois, France. I joined Pieter de Waal, secretary of the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group and Hermit on the Hill winemaker as the two South African representatives on a panel of some 60 jurors from around the world.
Best blend (containing between 51% and 85% Sauvignon Blanc) was Château Tour de Mirambeau Réserve 2012 from Bordeaux, best oaked Sauvignon was Domaine André Vatan Saint François 2011 from Sancerre, best non-oaked Sauvignon above 10€ a bottle was Weingut Genheimer Killz Gutenberger Felseneck 2012 from Germany and best non-oaked Sauvignon below 10€ was Domaine Gibault 2012 from Touraine.
At Saturday night’s gala dinner, the English-speaking judges commandeered a table and I found myself sitting with the likes of Mark De Vere MW from the USA, Jim Budd, founder of the blog Jim’s Loire and Jamie Goode representing the United Kingdom and Dr Paul White from New Zealand.
Also at the table was the bilingual Anne Serres of French website Vitisphere. She’s a keen Stade Francais fan and drummer in an amateur rock band so we got on well. Interestingly enough, when it came to the South African wine scene she was more interested in hearing about Pinotage and Cape Blends than anything to do with Sauvignon…