Thursday, November 09, 2017

Launch of the 2018 edition of Platter's South African Wine Guide at The Table Bay Hotel

It is that time of the year again, so eagerly awaited by most of the wine world, the launch of the New Platter 's Wine Guide 2018 This is its 38th year of publication. Publisher JP Rossouw told us the awards would have a different sequence this year, shortening the ceremony. First the four Highline awards: the Wines of the Year. It has been a year of great quality vintages, both 2015 and 2017 stand out. Do hold prices, stand firm with these wines of international quality. A five star winner means it scored 95 points or more. The wines nominated by the tasters for 5 star are tasted blind by a panel which also includes people from outside the team
Platter publisher J P Rossouw starts proceedings
Xolani Mhlaba, Finance Head: Diners Club South Africa reiterated Diners' commitment to supporting Platters Guide
There is always a huge audience of wine makers, wine trade and media. The Awards were held at the Table Bay Hotel in the Banqueting suites
And the first thing is to announce the new colour, always a huge secret until the last minute. This year, it is called Hot Habanero (looks like burgundy to us!)
Philip van Zyl is the hard working Editor, and this is his 20th edition. A mighty job which he does so well. It is Dave Swingler’s 21st year as a taster. He is about to announce the winners
First a new category The Fortified Dessert Wine of the Year and a huge surprise. Philip gave us lots of hints and no one guessed that the winner was Starboard from Beaumont Family wines (can't call this a port) . This blend of Tinta Barocca and Pinotage, and an assemblage of remainders of five vintages between 2005 to 2011 Cape Vintage is a whole new category at SAWIS. Rich and mature full of prunes, plums, leather and nuts with a brandy note and just lekker. Sebastian Beaumont was also awarded 5 stars for their Hope Marguerite
This year's Dessert Wine of the Year (unfortified) went to Klein Constantia for their 2013 Vin de Constance, made by talented young winemaker Matthew Day
Chris Williams collecting his award for the top White Wine of the Year, for The Foundry Grenache Blanc
Nederburg Cellarmaster Andrea Freeborough collected the Red Wine of the Year for the 2014 Two Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon.
Always lots of excitement when the Winery of the year is announced. Here JP Rossouw is about to let us into the secret
It went to Bruwer Raats and his team with 8 five star wines. Five of the seven Raats Family Wines are 5 star wines this year, with another on the highly recommended list. Two of the B Vintners wines he makes with cousin Gavin Bruwer Slabbert earned 5 stars and so did the Mvemve Raats MR de Compostella which he makes in partnership with Mzokhona Mvemve
Five star winners Neil Ellis, Nikki Ellis (Logistics Manager at Boekenhoutskloof), Warren Ellis, Kevin Arnold
Elgin and Stellenbosch with their awards: Stuart Downes, Johan Jordaan (Spier), James Downes
Stuart Downes and James Downes of Shannon Vineyards in Elgin with the two 5 star awards they received for Shannon Mount Bullet Merlot and The Shannon Semillon
 Winemaker Wynand Lategan and GM Barend Barnard of Lanzerac with their five star award for the 2015 Pionier Pinotage
Some canapés circulated. Arancini rice balls
Saté sticks
And then it was time to try to taste as many of the top and 5 star wines as you could manage. It is hard, but some of us have to try
Twilight at the waterfront as we left clutching our copy of this year's Platter. It is invaluable for what we do; we use it daily as a reference and would not know how to work without it. Congratulations to all the winners and high scorers
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