Friday, February 27, 2009 by Shirley de Kock & Associates
Paul Cluver's Elgin Estate has emerged overall winner and winner of two of three categories in the Just Riesling wine tasting organized this year as part of the International Riesling festival at The Cellars Hohenort Hotel, Constantia.
The tasting panel comprised Cathy van Zyl MW (chair), Miguel Chan, Tim James, Ingrid Motteux, Ginette de Fleuriot and Angela Lloyd, with Ernst Loosen, Egon Müller, Josef Knorr from Weingut Bründlmayer, Helmut Dönnhoff, Dirk van der Niepoort and Philipp Wittmann, representing the international community.
Just Riesling's aim is to raise the profile of the Riesling grape, and showcase its perfect partnership to the South African way of life, climate and cuisine, with a focus on the technical advancement of the plant material and research.
Winning the two categories it entered - there were 26 entries overall - the 2008 Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest was the overall winner.
Leading the category under 10 grams of sugar per litre was the Paul Cluver Weisser Riesling 2008, followed by Thelema Sutherland Riesling 2009 and Villiera Woolworths Riesling 2007;
in the category 31 g/litre and above, the Paul Cluver Weisser Riesling Noble Late Harvest 2008 took poll position with De Wetshof Edeloes 1991 and 1998 in second and third places.
Jordan Riesling 2006, Thelema Riesling 2007 and Deetlefs Weisser Riesling 2008 were the winners in the Category for 11-31 g/litre.
According to Tim James, writing in Grape, "the Cluver double-triumph was may be easy to anticipate, given a halfway-decent judging job.
Andries Burger has shown himself to be the most sensitive crafter of Riesling in the country, and this Elgin property regularly turns out immensely palatable, elegant dryish Rieslings which develop well for a good few years, as well as one of the best Noble Late Harvest wines in the country, of any variety (Riesling gives Andries a head start, of course!), which have been widely acclaimed internationally".
For the Cluvers it is a great accolade.
Says Paul Cluver; "This kind of recognition from the best producers of Riesling in the world is fantastic. It is encouraging to know that our Rieslings showed well as this is only the beginning of what promises to be a very exciting journey for us".