Neethlingshof Estate wines have returned to the limelight and harvested top medals at the Veritas Awards, widely regarded as the “Oscars” of the South African wine industry. The estate received a Double Gold and Gold medals during the glittering function, held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Friday, 9 October 2015.
The Double Gold was awarded to the Neethlingshof Estate Pinotage 2004 and Gold Medals, to the Neethlingshof Estate Gewütrztraminer 2009 and 2015 and Neethlingshof Estate Lord Neethling Pinotage 2004.
“We’re very happy the wines have again been recognised for their quality,” says Neethlingshof Estate winemaker De Wet Viljoen. “These wines reflect the unique character and identity of Neethlingshof and its terroir. The award for our Pinotage in particular demonstrates how well our wines age and is a great achievement at a time when the industry is celebrating National Pinotage Month.”
He says that in addition to being the trendsetting competition for market ready wines in South Africa, Veritas has a long history that is built on quality. “The competition results are therefore very credible. The public recognises it as such, which is why it is so important for us to do well.”
In addition to the performance at Veritas, the Pinotage 2014 was named one of the ABSA Pinotage Top 10 and the Gewurztraminer 2015 won at the Terroir Awards. Both wines have also featured as winners in numerous international and local competitions over the years.
Veritas celebrated its 25th anniversary this year and is one of South Africa’s oldest and most recognised wine competitions. It is organised by the South African National Wine Show Association (SANWSA). The judges taste blind and include winemakers, researchers, academics and merchants – all with industry-recognised qualifications. For the 2015 event, a total of 1 763 medal contenders were rated with only a small percentage selected for gold accolades.
“The awards at Veritas this year are testament to the work of many people. The making of our wines is a team effort that involves every vineyard and cellar worker,” says Viljoen. “Our viticulturists Hannes van Zyl and Nico Nortje deserve a special mention for their contribution.”
Neethlingshof Wine Estate has a history which dates back to 1692 and takes its name from its 19th century owner, Marthinus Laurentius Neethling, who served as mayor of Stellenbosch and was also a member of the Cape Parliament.
Its distinguishable terroirs give rise to distinctive red and white wines.
The Neethlingshof Estate Pinotage 2004 grapes were sourced from 11-year-old south-east facing vineyards. The wine was matured for 14 months in a combination of French (80%) and American (20%) oak, with 43% in new barrels before being bottled. The deep red wine has aromas of prunes and plums with notes of cinnamon and banana. On the palate, it’s full and rich with a good tannic structure. It’s an ideal companion to red meat and rich cheeses.
Both Neethlingshof Estate Gewütrztraminers were made from vines around 15 years old at the time of harvest and situated on slopes that expose them to breezes that decelerate ripening and make for concentrated flavours. Notable aromas in the wines include Turkish delight, rose petals and hints of jasmine and honeysuckle. They’re both off-dry on the palate with a spicy character and a zesty finish. They can be aged up to three years and are ideal companions to liver and fish pâtés and lightly spiced Asian dishes, it also makes a good partner to fruity desserts.
The Neethlingshof Estate Lord Neethling Pinotage 2004 hails from vineyards planted in 1997 on north-westerly facing slopes. Prior to bottling, the wine was matured in 100% Hungarian oak barrels. Ruby red in colour, the wine teems with berry aromas such as raspberry and cherry with mocha undertones. On the palate, it is rich and ripe with flavours of cherries and vanilla. The wine matures well and is the ideal accompaniment to red meat dishes, spicy stews and game.
Neethlingshof Estate is part of the Cape Legends collection of acclaimed wines and a member of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI), highlighting a commitment to eco-sustainability. Its stately manor house is popular for functions and is much a landmark of the area as the evergreen lane of stone pines that lead to its front door.
Neethlingshof is part of Cape Legends, a collection of superlative quality, award-winning wines from several boutique estates situated in and around the Cape Winelands. For more information about Neethlingshof and its wines, visit www.neethlingshof.co.za, call 021 883 8988 or make contact on www.facebook.com/neethlingshof (or via Twitter @NeethlingshofW).
The wines, available at retail outlets nationwide, are found on many restaurant wine lists and can also be delivered to your door when purchased online through the Vinotèque.