This year's Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for the Best in Show Red Rhône Varietals under £15 went to Spier, Creative Block 3, Coastal Region, South Africa 2011 (14%)

Tasted against:

  • Château Courac, Côtes du Rhône, France 2012
  • Chateau Los Boldos, Momentos Reserva Syrah, Cachapoal, Chile 2013
  • Domaine Modat, Comme Avant, Côtes du Roussillon-Villages Caramany, France 2011
  • Kilikanoon, Killerman’s Run Grenache-Shiraz-Mataro, Clare Valley, South Australia 2012

Profile:

Spier has capped off a remarkable year at the DWWA with this International Trophy to add to two Regional Trophies. It clinched this title despite competition from the Rhône itself, as well as from Australia, Chile and Roussillon – our judges praising its velvety texture, rich fruit and excellent length.

Owned by the Enthoven family since 1993, Spier’s modern winery boasts sophisticated facilities that allow its winemakers to vinify each block of each vineyard separately. The maturation cellar also contains some 3,500 barrels sectioned off into chambers of differing temperature and humidity.

Creative Block 3 is a nod towards the three grapes that form this Trophy-winning Rhône blend: Shiraz (87%), Mourvedre (10%) and Viognier (3%). The wine is an amalgam of what Spier believes are the finest regions for growing Shiraz in South Africa – Darling, Helderberg and Stellenbosch – with both the Mourvedre and Viognier also coming from the milder region of Helderberg.

Spier is passionate about wines from cooler regions and the associated perks of such areas: ‘Cooler-climate wines are less expressive on the nose in the beginning, but last longer and have greater length on the palate,’ says group cellarmaster Frans Smit. ‘They have higher natural acidity and are more refined in terms of fruit flavours.’

Aside from its key mission to produce some of South Africa’s best wines, Spier is also aware of its responsibility to the environment. It is organically certified, recycles 100% of its waste water and 80% of its solid waste, and works almost 300 hectares of land to biodynamic methods – land which also sustains vegetables, chickens and cattle.

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Written by Decanter