Showing the character of a vintage considered the most outstanding in a decade, Kunjani Shiraz 2015 is a winner in the Shiraz SA Challenge 2020 which unveiled South Africa’s Top 12 champions last week.

In the ultimate accolade for South African shiraz producers, Shiraz SA announced the Top 12 in the annual Shiraz SA Challenge in an online event on Thursday, 30 July, with judging panel convenor Dr Andy Roediger CWM saying this year’s entries were “by far the best” he had seen in the eight years of the competition.

“It shows that South African Shiraz is on par with those of other countries in the world,” he said.

Co-owner of the boutique Stellenbosch winery, Pia Watermeyer, said: “We are thrilled with this accolade for our 2015 Shiraz, especially in a competition against some of South Africa’s top producers with long track records in outstanding shiraz. This gives Kunjani Shiraz 2015 ‘best of the best’ status and, as the oldest of the 12 winners, shows the ageing potential of our shiraz.”

This is the third accolade for Kunjani Shiraz 2015, which won a gold medal in the 2018 Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards and last year rated 90 points by Winemag.co.za.

The grapes for Kunjani Shiraz 2015 were grown on the estate in the Devon Valley ward in the Bottelary Hills of Stellenbosch, hand-picked and hand-sorted for optimum quality, barrel-fermented and matured in French oak for 12 months.

In the glass, an inviting nose of white pepper and paprika spice fused with black olives and savoury soy sauce leads into spice and juicy fruit. The depth of the palate is enhanced by a sweet liquorice root impression while a touch of lime keeps it fresh and a mineral salty element lingers on the finish. Softness balances with elegant tannin structure and well-integrated fruit and oak spice.

The judging panel led by Dr Roediger included experienced tasters and shiraz experts, Shiraz SA chair and La Motte cellar master Edmund Terblanche; De Grendel cellar master Charles Hopkins; Anthony de Jager, cellar master at Fairview; and owner/winemaker and Cape Wine Master from Eenzaamheid, Janno Briers-Louw.

Kunjani Shiraz 2015 is available from the Kunjani Wines online shop at https://kunjaniwines.co.za/wines/shop/ for R220 and deliveries will take place once the current ban on alcohol sales is lifted.

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