Absa Vintage Awards of Excellence 2024: Showcasing the Aging Potential of South African Pinotage

Absa Vintage Awards

The prestigious Absa Vintage Awards, hosted by the Pinotage Association, has once again shone a spotlight on the unique aging potential of Pinotage wines. This competition stands out as the only one in South Africa dedicated exclusively to this varietal, offering an unparalleled platform for showcasing the excellence of aged Pinotage wines.

A Unique Celebration of Pinotage
What makes the Absa Vintage Awards distinct are several key factors. Firstly, Pinotage is the sole varietal featured, ensuring a focused celebration of this iconic South African grape. It is also the only competition in the country dedicated to highlighting the aging potential of Pinotage. Moreover, this competition is judged exclusively by the esteemed Cape Wine Masters, adding a layer of prestige and expertise to the evaluation process.

The 2024 competition saw an impressive entry of over 38 exceptional wines, reflecting the growing enthusiasm among producers to showcase their aged Pinotage. The judges faced a challenging task in assessing the remarkable quality of these wines, each presenting unique characteristics and exceptional aging potential.

Bennie Howard, Cape Wine Master and Panel Chair, remarked on the exceptional quality of entries: “This year’s competition has reinforced the position of Pinotage as a symbol of South African viticulture. The wines showcased a remarkable range of styles, reflecting both the heritage and innovation within the industry.”

Vintage Highlights
The judges provided insightful comments on the various vintages entered:

  • 2014 Vintage: Showcased good expressive fruit, diverse styles, and overall excellent quality. Wines were fresh, youthful, with deep dark colours and good integration of wood, displaying excellent use of oak. These wines have further aging potential, up to another 10 years.
  • 2013 Vintage: Displayed lovely fresh and youthful wines with elegance, balance, and persistent quality.
  • 2012 Vintage: Excited the judges with high quality, consistent, and extraordinarily fresh wines. Very attractive with lots of potential for further aging.
  • 2011 Vintage: Presented more mellow wines with mature tannins, seamless balance, and excellent fruit.
  • 2010 Vintage: Showed powerful and bold wines with great structure, freshness, and youthfulness.
  • 2009 Vintage: An outstanding vintage with opulent wines, optimal ripeness, lovely fruit, and harmonious balance, still showing maturing potential.
  • 2008 Vintage: Exhibited bright ruby colours, excellent structure, great length, complexity, and elegance.
  • 2001 Vintage: Dark ruby, mellow, generous, and bold. Youthfulness impresses, attractive, smooth, and delicious.
  • 1997 Vintage: Youthful, complex, balanced, and elegant wines, soft and smooth, a classy vintage.

Award-Winning Wines
The winning wines of the Absa Vintage Awards 2024 are a testament to the exceptional quality and aging potential of South African Pinotage. The detailed results and accolades was officially announced at the awards ceremony held at Vergenoegd Low Wine Estate.

“This is a showcase of truly fine wines. The wines presented speak for themselves and are exceptional. The judges, all Cape Wine Masters, are experts in judging older wines. They have provided a comprehensive evaluation of this category, ensuring it continues to be a respected benchmark of quality in the industry,” Beyers Truter, Chairman of the Pinotage Association.

The wines receiving 90 plus points from the judging panel are:

Producer Name Vintage Description WO
Beeslaar Wines 2013 Beeslaar Pinotage Stellenbosch
Beeslaar Wines 2012 Beeslaar Pinotage Stellenbosch
Bellingham 2010 Bellingham The Bernard Series Bush Vine Pinotage Coastal
Beyerskloof Wines 2014 Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage Stellenbosch
Beyerskloof Wines 2012 Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage Stellenbosch
Beyerskloof Wines 2010 Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage Stellenbosch
Beyerskloof Wines 2013 Beyerskloof Pinotage Western Cape
Beyerskloof Wines 2011 Beyerskloof Pinotage Western Cape
Beyerskloof Wines 2011 Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve Stellenbosch
Beyerskloof Wines 2001 Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve Stellenbosch
Darling Cellars 2012 Darling Cellars Premium Pinotage Darling
Fairview 2009 Fairview Primo Pinotage Coastal
Flagstone Winery 2008 Flagstone Writer’s Block Pinotage Breedekloof
Grangehurst Winery 2009 Grangehurst Pinotage 350 Celebration Vintage Stellenbosch
Grangehurst Winery 2007 Grangehurst Pinotage Stellenbosch
Grangehurst Winery 2001 Grangehurst Pinotage Stellenbosch
Grangehurst Winery 1997 Grangehurst Pinotage Stellenbosch
Groot Constantia Wine Estate 2013 Groot Constantia Pinotage Constantia
Kanonkop Wine Estate 2014 Kanonkop Pinotage Simonsberg/Stellenbosch
Môreson 2008 Môreson Pinotage Coastal
Neil Ellis Wines 2012 Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Pinotage Jonkershoekvallei
Rijk’s Cellar 2014 Rijk’s Reserve Pinotage Tulbagh
Simonsig Wines 2014 Simonsig Redhill Pinotage Stellenbosch
Vondeling Wines 2014 Bowwood Pinotage Voor Paardeberg
Wildekrans Wine Estate 2011 Wildekrans Pinotage Botrivier
Windmeul Kelder 2012 Windmeul Reserve Pinotage Paarl