Absa Vintage Pinotage Excellence Awards: Recognizing Exceptional Excellence in South African Winemaking

Absa Vintage Pinotage

Pinotage SA is delighted to announce the launch of the Absa Vintage Pinotage Excellence Awards, a ground-breaking initiative that celebrates the artistry and outstanding craftsmanship of South African winemakers. In its first year, with a fresh approach, the awards have evolved from the Absa Top 10 Pinotage awards to focus on judging Vintage wines separately. This innovative decision was made in collaboration with the esteemed Institute of Cape Wine Masters, ensuring the utmost integrity and expertise in the evaluation process.

The Absa Vintage Pinotage Excellence Awards have attracted a panel of distinguished judges renowned for their discerning palates and extensive knowledge of the wine industry. The esteemed judging panel includes Bennie Howard, Anton Swarts, Christine Rudman, Colin Frith, and Sandy Harper, each bringing their expertise and passion to the evaluation process. Their collective experience and deep understanding of the nuances of Pinotage have ensured a rigorous and fair assessment of the nominees.

According to Beyers Truter, Chairman of the Pinotage Association, “The decision to judge these Vintage wines (wines 10 years and older) separately was a progressive move inspired by the Institute of Cape Wine Masters. This approach will shine a spotlight on the exceptional qualities of each Vintage, highlighting the uniqueness and diversity of South African Pinotage wines.”

Nominees for the Excellence Awards

The Vintage Pinotage Awards Excellence Awards category features an impressive line-up of nominees, each exemplifying the highest standards of winemaking. The nominees are as follows:

Beyerskloof Wines | Winemaker: Anri Truter

  • 2013 Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage
  • 2013 Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve
  • 2012 Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve

Diemersfontein Wines | Winemaker: Francois Roode

  • 2012 Diemersfontein Carpe Diem Pinotage

Flagstone Winery | Winemaker: Gerhard Swart

  • 2006 Flagstone Writer’s Block Pinotage

Iwayini | Winemaker: De Wet Viljoen

  • 2000 Lord Neethling Pinotage

Kanonkop | Winemaker: Abrie Beeslaar

  • 2005 Kanonkop Pinotage

Lanzerac | Winemaker: Wynand Lategan

  • 2012 Lanzerac Pinotage
  • 2010 Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage
  • 1993 Lanzerac Pinotage
  • 2008 Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage

Rijk’s Wine | Winemaker: Adriaan Jacobs (Pierre Wahl produced the wine)     

  • 2013 Rijk’s Private Cellar Pinotage

Simonsig Wines | Winemaker: Michael Malan

  • 2012 Simonsig Redhill Pinotage

Wellington Wines | Winemaker:  Daniel Slabber

  • 2012 La Cave Pinotage

Each of these exceptional wines showcase the innovation, skill, and dedication of South African winemakers in crafting outstanding Vintage Pinotage wines. 

The 2023 competition had over 34 vintage wine entries. Regional representation in wines receiving 90+ points included Breede River Valley (1), Stellenbosch (10), Tulbagh (1), and Wellington (2).

All wines scoring 90+ are recognised in the Absa Vintage Pinotage Excellence Awards. There is no outright winner, and it is not a collection of wines as in the past. Each recipient receives the accolade of excellence.

Abrie Rautenbach, Absa Agribusiness Executive, shared his congratulations to the remarkable recipients and expressed immense pride in the longstanding sponsorship, celebrating the enduring legacy of Pinotage craftsmanship and innovation.