Friday, February 27, 2009

The Just Riesling Challenge

Article Courtesy of Claire Lockey

The Just Riesling Challenge - international producers select South African winners

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cellars-Hohenort Hotel in Constantia hosted the Just Riesling Association's Riesling Challenge on Sunday, 22nd February 2009.

The Association took advantage of the presence in South Africa of top international producers Ernst Loosen, Egon Müller, Josef Knorr from Weingut Bründlmayer, Helmut Dönnhoff, Dirk van der Niepoort and Philipp Wittmann.

The producers who judged the competition were in South Africa on invitation from Sommelier Jörg Pfützner, as part of Under the Influence of Riesling Festival 2009 which ran from the 19th to the 22nd February in Johannesburg and Cape Town.South African judges chosen for the panel were Cathy van Zyl, Jeanette de Fleuriot, Angela Lloyd, Tim James, Ingrid Motteux and Cellars Hohenort Sommelier, Miguel Chan.

South African producersAll South African Riesling producers were invited to send in their entries to the competition with a total of 26 entrants in the competition.

The entrants entered their wines under Rhine/Weisser Rieslings and Noble Late Harvests and the competition was audited by Michael van Wyk, partner at Deloittes and Touches.

Categories were divided into residual sugars 0-10g, 11-30g and 31g< and the winners have been listed as followed:

0-10g residual sugar

1. Paul Cluver Weisser Riesling 2008
2. Thelema Rhine Riesling 2008

3. Villiera 2008

11-30g residual sugar

1. Jordan Riesling 2006
2. Thelema Rhine Riesling 2007
3. Deetlefs Riesling 2008

31g and higher residual sugar

1. Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest 2008
2. De Wetshof Noble Late Harvest 1991
3. De Wetshof Noble Late Harvest 1998

Said of the South African producers, Wittmann felt that standards they experienced at the competition were very much in line with their overall expectations for South African Rieslings looking at the soils and climatic conditions.

He acknowledged that the obvious climatic variances made the difference in achieving the archetypal Riesling.