This year's winner of the Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for the Best in Show White Blend Over £15 went to Cape Point Vineyards, Isliedh, Cape Point 2012, South Africa.
Cape Point Vineyards, Isliedh, Cape Point, South Africa 2012 (14%)
Elegant and silky with a fine nose of apples and limes leading to a rounded palate of yellow fruit and kiwi with white floral notes. A very classic style – complex and harmonious.
UK £35; Han, Him, Swg, SWO
Tasted against There were no other Regional Trophies in this category The sole competitor for this International Trophy,
Cape Point is no stranger to this DWWA podium, winning this very gong in 2010 for the 2008 vintage of the Isliedh (interestingly, in another year when it was unchallenged for the Trophy).
It is astonishing that this winery in Noordhoek in the Cape had its first bottling as recently as 2000 – it seems as though it was always part of the SA wine scene, such has been its success. The affable and savvy winemaker, Duncan Savage, looks as though he’d be more at home running a surfing school in Hawaii, but his demeanour belies a fierce determination and dedication to quality both in the vineyards, where he always seems happiest, and in the cellar.
Wind is the problem here, and Savage often quips that he needs innovative techniques just to keep the leaves and the bunches on the vines. The vineyards are on a peninsula jutting into the South Atlantic; they catch the southeasterlies, and anyone visiting can almost walk onto the nearby Long Beach for a cooling dip, although the temperatures are mind-bogglingly low.
The focus is on Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Chardonnay. Isliedh has been the mainstay of the estate since the beginning. The blend is 75% Sauvignon and the balance is Semillon. There is a subtle use of French oak which adds a complexity and finesse to this wine of great balance and length.
This blend, although young now, already has a proven track record for ageability.
Lynne Sherriff MW
Written by Decanter