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Home Winners > Winners 2015 > NEW WORLD: Zinfandel & Pinotage

Winner Details

New World: Zinfandel & Pinotage


2015: Gold 1 Silver 2 Bronze 5 Commended 5
2014: Gold 1 Silver 6 Bronze 2 Commended 5


Nine medals (one of them Gold) last year; eight medals (one of them Gold) this year. This was a solid performance from two of the more awkward grape varieties in the wine canon.

On the plus side, the teams were heartened by the fact that the Pinotages were mostly pretty good, and that the alcohol levels in Zin seem to be on the way down. On the downside, it would have been nice to have had a few more Silvers genuinely jostling for a place on the Gold List. Well done to Gnarly Head, though, which regularly picks up a higher-end medal here.

From the Tasting Teams


‘I was pleasantly surprised by the Pinotages. These wines have been improving a lot over the last two years.’ Jeremie Guiraud, Lords of the Manor

‘Zin is not a must-have even for us. I keep an entry level one just in case, plus one or two premium Zinfandels, but essentially it’s an overlooked wine.’ James Hocking, The Vineyard Group

‘I was expecting to see more alcohol, but throughout the whole Zin flight it was all quite integrated.’
Charles Van Wyk, FJB Hotels

Award winners

Found 13 wines

New World: Zinfandel & Pinotage

Delicato, Gnarly Head, Old Vine, Zinfandel 2013, Lodi, California, USA

Gold medal winner

'Fresh, plush and juicy, with jammy red fruit and a deft hit of spice,' said team leader Natasha Hughes MW, illustrating why Delicato hit the heights with its Gnarly Head, harvested from head-trained vines aged between 35 and 80 years. 'The combination of dark fruits is complemented by spice and sweet Virginia tobacco notes,’ began Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels, adding: ‘Sweet and sour notes on the palate, with complexity coming from use of oak and ageing. A well-made wine with a lingering finish.’ Match with rich braised dishes or those with a touch of spice. Or dark chocolate!

£10.63 Bibendum

Accolade Wines, Flagstone, Writer's Block, Pinotage 2013, Breedekloof, South Africa

Silver medal winner

'There's lots of US oak, red fruit and a chocolatey nature to the palate, with its chunky tannins,' said team leader Natasha Hughes MW. ‘Really love it as a refreshing change from the classic grape varieties,’ began Jeremie Guiraud of Lords of the Manor, continuing: ‘Good balance, juicy fruit and a nice blackberry fruit finish with cinnamon spice complexity.’

£12.27 Matthew Clark

Kleine Zalze, Cellar Selection, Pinotage 2013, Western Cape, South Africa

Silver medal winner

‘Full of black fruit and plenty of spice, food friendly, and could be a match for a Malbec,’ said Jeremie Guiraud of Lords of the Manor, with team leader Annette Scarfe MW adding: ‘Lean, spicy style with juicy, ripe tannins.’

£6.79 Hatch Mansfield

Peter Franus, Zinfandel 2012, Napa Valley, California, USA

Bronze medal winner

‘Plush and plump, with ripe berries and cherries, silky tannins and integrated oak,’ said team leader Natasha Hughes MW, continuing: ‘Long, with good depth and balance and a dash of spicy complexity.’

£22.50

Ravenswood, Lodi Zinfandel 2012, California, USA

Bronze medal winner

‘Lighter fruit style, on the cherry side, well made with good balance, and without being overpowering,’ said Gergely Barsi Szabó of Bread Street Kitchen, with team leader Natasha Hughes MW adding: ‘Simple, juicy, with nice aromatics.’

£10.15 Matthew Clark

MAN, Bosstok, Pinotage 2013, Coastal Region, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

‘Nice red fruit juice with fresh mint on the finish, easy to drink,’ began Giuseppe Longobardi of The Cross at Kenilworth, with team leader Annette Scarfe MW adding: ‘Smoky, leathery bacon notes with juicy black plums, and well balanced.’

£6.55 Enotria&Coe

Renwood, California Zinfandel 2012, Amador County, California, USA

Bronze medal winner

‘What you look for in a Zin,’ began Sandia Chang of Bubbledogs, continuing: ‘A jammy, fruity style with the typical black fruit on the palate, and a touch of fresh tobacco sweetness to finish.’ ‘Plush texture and tannin, coconut oak and value for money,’ added team leader Natasha Hughes MW.

£8.52 Blends Wine Estates

Alvi's Drift, Pinotage 2013, Worcester, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

‘Smoky and tasty, lots of vibrant, freshly picked fruit, simple but good,’ began team leader Annette Scarfe MW, with Jeremie Guiraud of Lords of the Manor adding: ‘Pleasant, easy drinking, smoky red cherries with no pretensions.’

£5.74 Sogrape UK

Niel Joubert, Kleinkloof, Pinotage 2012, Western Cape , South Africa

Commended medal winner

Edmeades, Mendocino County, Zinfandel 2011, California , USA

Commended medal winner

£11.11 Fells

Distell, Durbanville Hills, Pinotage 2012, Western Cape , South Africa

Commended medal winner

£8.60 Matthew Clark

Renwood, Fiddletown, Zinfandel 2012, Amador County, California, USA

Commended medal winner

Eberle, Steinbeck, Wine-Bush & Cocavin Vineyards, Zinfandel 2011, Paso Robles, California , USA

Commended medal winner

£17.43 Alliance Wine

 

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