Home Winners > Winners 2014 > NEW WORLD: Chardonnay South Africa

Winner Details

New World: Chardonnay, South Africa

2014: Gold 3 Silver 8 Bronze 3 Commended 2
2013: Gold 2 Silver 0 Bronze 1 Commended N/A
Must-list status: 30%
Overall SWA performance 2014: A-

If the performance of Australian Chardonnay was, to a large extent, expected – our tasting teams have been tracking the emergence of the New Roo Elegance for several years now – South Africa’s medal haul here took everyone by surprise.

The country has rarely registered more than two or three medals in total, so to pick up 14 this year and not one but two Food Match awards was as pleasantly surprising as finding President Obama officiating at your school sports day.

‘This was a massively strong flight, which we really struggled to pull apart and decide upon, because these were almost all tremendous wines,’ said team leader Annette Scarfe MW. ‘They were fresh yet concentrated, balanced, very much in the newer style of Chardonnay, and also very good value for the quality.’

Indeed, reasonableness of pricing is probably the biggest difference between South Africa’s Chards and those from Australia. The De Wetshof and the Lourensford are perhaps the most striking examples, but half a dozen of the medal winners were under £10, and nothing was over £18. This is a part of the competition that is not just exciting, but also affordable.

‘The value for money was very good here, with excellent Chardonnay to offer by the glass, as well as wines that would challenge Burgundy at many higher tiers,’ said Frédéric Jean-Yves Billet of Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa. ‘The wines at £16 and £18 would only be £60 on the list but would compete with Puligny-Montrachet.’


Congratulations to Lourensford and De Wetshof, both of whom also picked up Golds for their Chardonnays last year as well. 


From The Tasting Teams

‘I liked these wines very much, some of the best were showing minerality and complexity, and on the list they could be seen as a distinct, separate style of Chardonnay, with a little more fruit, a little more alcohol, but balanced by good acidity.’ Attila Sutus, Hotel Crocus

‘It is good to see that there are still some South African notes, some tropical hints, but subtle, like finding good Burgundy but from a riper year.’ Frédéric Jean-Yves Billet, Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa