We use cookies to operate this website and to improve its usability. Full details of what cookies are, why we use them and how you can manage them can be found by reading our Privacy & Cookies pages. Please note that by using this site you are consenting to the use of cookies.

Home Winners > Winners 2018 > NEW WORLD: Pinot Noir, Rest of the New World

Winner Details

Pinot Noir: Rest of the New World including Argentina, Australia & South Africa

2018 Gold 2      Silver 7       Bronze 5      Commended 6
2017 Gold 2      Silver 2       Bronze 5      Commended 6

With respect to Argentina, which has never really got going in this part of the Sommelier Wine Awards, this was always going to be a two-way battle between Australia and South Africa. In the end, while the places on the Gold List were shared, there were two very different narratives at play.

Australia came in with a big reputation and high expectations from our tasters that were rarely met. The early rounds saw a lot of disappointment and a lot of wines kicked out. But the wines that were left (our medal winners) were excellent.

South Africa seemed less confident in itself, our tasters expected a lot less and were pleasantly surprised by what they got. The hit rate of medals to entries was higher.

All in all, this rounded off a generally strong year for Pinot, which seems to be making good strides across the New World.


‘There was definitely some clumsy winemaking in the Australian wines – oak being used in excess for such an elegant grape.’ Manuel Ribeiro, The Bybrook at The Manor House Hotel

‘When I approached this flight, I wondered whether I would be able to pick apart Yarra from Mornington, for example. But I was struggling to find Pinot character in general.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

‘The South Africans were very good value; very good fruit expression, but structured wines.’ Carolina Seibel, Portland Restaurant

‘Very good winemaking in the South African wines. At £13-£16 – there’s not much from Burgundy.’ Nigel Lister, team leader

‘I think the Pinot Noirs at the lower end of the scale here were very commercial, but that’s not to say they’re not enjoyable and there isn’t a place for them.’ Andrés Ituarte, Coq d’Argent

‘Pinot Noir is a variety that’s popular enough that you can put very different styles on your list.’ Raphael Thierry, Street XO

Award winners

Found 10 wines

New World: Pinot Noir, Rest of the New World

Thelema, Sutherland, Pinot Noir 2014, Elgin, South Africa

Gold medal winner

Snapping up a well-earned Gold with its ‘more developed Old World style’, according to consultant Charles Pashby-Taylor, this had ‘strawberry and leafy notes, with zippy acidity and a pleasant touch of tannin’. Team leader Andrea Briccarello went on to describe ‘dried mushroom notes, as well as great balance and texture’, while team leader Nigel Lister highlighted ‘sweetly violet aromas and gentle cherry fruit with cranberry on a silky-textured palate’.

£13.68 Enotria&Coe

Shannon, Rockview Ridge, Pinot Noir 2016, Elgin, South Africa

Silver medal winner

A ‘smoky, roasting coffee, very expressive nose with green herbaceous notes’, began Portland Restaurant’s Carolina Seibel, finding ‘very warm red fruit, fine grippy tannins for a very enticing wine’. ‘Very good value, with a sweetly oaked nose, red fruits, currants and cranberry,’ added team leader Nigel Lister.

£16.33 Matthew Clark

The Drift Estate, There Are Still Mysteries, Single Vineyard, Pinot Noir 2016, Overberg Highlands, South Africa

Silver medal winner

Team leader Nigel Lister was keen on this Pinot’s ‘wild violets, strawberry and meaty tones on the nose, elegant and silky palate’, describing it as ‘rich and ripe with decent length and gossamer tannins’, and ‘very drinkable’. Team leader Andrea Briccarello concurred, noting ‘great freshness, lots of cranberry acidity, dry spicy fruits on the back-palate’.

£35.48 Alliance Wine

Elgin Vintners, Pinot Noir 2016, Elgin, South Africa

Silver medal winner

Mattia Scarpazza of Petersham Nurseries described a nose of ‘roses and ripe cherries with clove and pepper spice notes’, and also highlighted ‘pomegranate fruit and liquorice hints, juicy personality with ripe tannins, balanced alcohol and a rounded finish’.

£13.30 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Bouchard Finlayson, Galpin Peak, Pinot Noir 2016, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

‘Delicate but complex on the nose,’ said Mattia Scarpazza of Petersham Nurseries, enjoying its ‘rose and violets, pepper and ripe redcurrants, followed by a ripe palate with clove and red cherry notes, good length and a fresh, elegant finish’.

£19.00 Lea & Sandeman

Humberto Canale, Selección de Familia, Pinot Noir 2014, Patagonia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

‘Powerful fruity style with ripe red and black cherries complemented by good ageing,’ said Suave Wine’s Joseph Lunn, with Vinoteca’s Charlie Young noting ‘savoury, oaky nose, a full and spicy, savoury palate with good weight and fine tannins on the finish’.

£15.22 Enotria&Coe

Nitida, Pinot Noir 2015, Durbanville, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Andrea Briccarello found a ‘medium-intense, spicy-savoury nose, vibrant cherry and sweet plum character’, and thought it was ‘easy-drinking, soft and balanced’.

£9.07 Frederic Robinson

Casa Valduga, Identidade, Pinot Noir 2016, Encruzilhada do Sul, Brazil

Bronze medal winner

‘Cranberry nose with forest floor notes, fresh plummy fruit on the palate with a floral note, pure and fresh,’ said Street XO’s Raphael Thierry, with team leader Laurent Richet MS highlighting ‘very floral, jasmine, lilac, velvety red aromas, black cherry fruit on the palate with lovely acidity, an interesting style’.

£10.26 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Creation, Pinot Noir 2017, Walker Bay, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£19.46 Bibendum

Highlands Road, Pinot Noir 2014, Elgin, South Africa

Commended medal winner


Subscribe to the SWA newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with the latest Sommelier Wine Awards news.