The annual Blaauwklippen Blending Competition is noteworthy firstly on account of how long-lived it is (it was run for the 27th time this year) and secondly because it involves what must be one of the most coveted databases in all the winelands: this year 75 different wine clubs submitted entries, including one from the USA!
This year’s winning club was announced on Friday, this being the Engineer Wine Society based in Port Elizabeth, other finalists including the Parys Winefly Club, the Tipsy Tarts Wine Club of KwaZulu Natal and the Weskus Wyngilde.
The winning wine meanwhile which shows lots of ripe red fruit and soft-ish tannins was a blend of 45% Zinfandel, 42% Shiraz, 7% Malbec and of 6% Cabernet Sauvignon (the varieties across all entries typically used as follows: 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Shiraz, 20% Zinfandel and 14% Malbec).
The panel of judges this year included Jeanri van Zyl WINE magazine journalis), Albert Basson, Blaauwklippen assistant winemaker, Clive Torr (Cape Wine Master and winemaker), Michelle Grimbeek of the Cape Wine Academy and Andrew Chigorimbo, wine judge and blogger.
The winning blend has been bottled under the Blaauwklippen Barouche label and features a label designed by Stellenbosch artist Frans Groenewald. The wine is sold in limited edition magnum bottles and has an approximate retail price of R140 a bottle.