30th Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction a showcase of SA prowess

Great variety, diversity and craftsmanship shaped by more than three decades of winemaking prowess is the hallmark of the 30th Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction, when a record line-up of 61 singularly crafted wines goes under the hammer in the Stellenbosch Winelands on Saturday, 4 October 2014.

This South African wine industry showcase of rare, outstanding wines, recognised as the country’s leading wine auction open to the general public and wine trade, features small volumes of unique wines all crafted exclusively for the auction by members of the Cape Winemakers Guild. Benchmarking winemaking excellence with wines of remarkable lineage and enduring quality, the 2014 auction selection offers more variety than ever before but with 386 fewer cases than last year’s mammoth offering.

This year’s auction wines, all poised to become rare collector’s pieces, comprise 40 red wines, 18 white wines, one Méthode Cap Classique, one straw wine and a potstill brandy making up the tally of 2 833 cases (6 x 750ml case equivalent).

“The Guild has certainly come a long way since our first auction in 1985 in Johannesburg – from just 18 wines crafted by 13 members to 61 wines from a membership of 45 this year. What has remained constant, however, is our singular commitment to improve the standing and quality of South African wines by setting new benchmarks for the industry. This is particularly evident from our 2014 auction, where our members have pushed the envelope with boundless creativity and great variety,” says Andries Burger of Paul Cluver Wines, who believes the auction offers something for everyone with more choice that any previous auction.

“Since day one our auction has been open to the public and with our varying lot sizes there is great scope for both private wine lovers and the trade to purchase our rare and exclusive wines,” he adds.

Innovation and experimentation is most evident on the white wine front again this year with Andrea Mullineux making her auction debut with the first ever Semillon Gris to go under the hammer. Another newcomer to the white wine selection is an unusual blend of Roussanne and Chenin Blanc by Simonsig’s Johan Malan.

Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc lovers are spoilt for choice this year with five wines each, followed by three Sauvignon Blancs, two Semillons and two blends. Amongst the Chardonnays, regular auction stalwarts include the 2013 vintages of Jordan Chardonnay Auction Reserve, Paul Cluver The Wagon Trail Chardonnay, Ataraxia Under the Gavel Chardonnay and Cape Chamonix CWG Reserve Chardonnay. Peter Finlayson is also back with a 2012 Bouchard Finlayson Auction Reserve Estate Chardonnay. The Chenin Blanc selection includes wines from Adi Badenhost, Kaapzicht, Kleine Zalze, Rijk’s and Teddy Hall.

Representing Sauvignon Blanc on the auction are wines from Bartho Eksteen, De Grendel and Louis Nel. The two Semillons on auction this year are both 2013 vintages: Nicky Versfeld’s Lanner Hill Double Barrel White and Cederberg Ghost Corner. Cape Point Vineyards CWG Reserve White 2013 is the only Bordeaux-style white blend in the 2014 auction line-up.

Amongst the reds, Shiraz with 10 wines, Bordeaux-style blends with eight and Cabernet Sauvignon with seven, are the biggest categories followed by non-Bordeaux-style blends, Pinot Noir and Pinotage all with four wines.

The oldest wine on auction this year is a 2004 Etienne Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Auction Reserve, one of two Cabernet Sauvignons on offer from this master craftsman. Other Cabernet Sauvingons include wines from Hartenberg, Kleine Zalze, Louis Nel, Tokara and Vriesenhof.

The Shiraz tally includes a 2008 vintage from Saronsberg as well as new vintages of previous auction stars such as Hartenberg CWG Auction Shiraz 2011, Cederberg Teen die Hoog Shiraz 2012, Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Auction Reserve 2012, Boschkloof Syrah 2012 and Simonsig Heirloom Shiraz 2012. The Luddite Auction Reverse Shiraz / Mourvèdre 2011 is one of the interesting Shiraz-based blends on offer this year.

Pinotages and Cape Blends are well represented with offerings from Beyerskloof, Kanonkop, Grangehurst, Neil Ellis and Rijk’s amongst this year’s wines. The four Pinot Noirs available this year include Rianie Strydom’s first wine under her own name: Strydom Family Wines Triple 7 Pinot Noir 2013. Merlot is represented by De Trafford and Villiera whilst Adi Badenhorst returns with a 2012 vintage of his Cinsault. The only dessert wine and brandy on auction are both by Carel Nel: Boplaas Ouma Cloete Straw Wine 2013 and Boplaas 1880 Ox Wagon Reserve 8 Year Potstill Brandy. The sole Méthode Cap Classique in the line-up is from Graham Beck.

New vintages of other top selling auction faithfuls such as Jordan Sophia 2011, Kanonkop CWG Paul Sauer 2011, Ernie Els CWG 2012, Bouchard Finlayson Auction Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 and Neil Ellis Auction Reserve 2011 should all make for competitive bidding.

All these auction wines are subjected to rigorous scrutiny by the Guild’s tasting panel and tested by an independent laboratory to ensure that they are free of any defects and meet the highest standards of wine health measurement. Since its inception in 1985, the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction has become a quality benchmark and the CWG label is an authentic assurance of quality recognised by leading local and international wine buyers.

Wine enthusiasts can taste the 2014 auction line-up at Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Showcases in Cape Town on Thursday, 21 August at the International Convention Centre (CTICC), and in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 27 August at the The Nedbank Atrium in Sandton. The Showcases are open to the public and tickets can be purchased via www.webtickets.co.za at R170.

The 30th Nedbank CWG Auction, conducted by Henré Hablutzel of Hofmeyr Mills Auctioneers for the 17th consecutive year, is open to the public and will be held at the Spier Conference Centre in the Stellenbosch Winelands on Saturday, 4 October 2014. Prospective buyers who are unable to attend the auction on the day, can register in advance and take advantage of the telephonic and proxy bidding facilities.

For further details and to attend the Auction, visit www.capewinemakersguild.com or contact the Guild Office on Tel: 021 852 0408 or info@capewinemakersguild.com.