This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for South African Red Rhône Varietals over £15 went to Cederberg, Shiraz, Cederberg 2011 (14.5%)

Tasted against:

  • Guardian Peak, Summit, Western Cape 2012
  • Hartenberg, The Stork, Stellenbosch 2010
  • Lomond, Conebush Syrah, Cape Agulhas 2011
  • Saronsberg, Full Circle, Tulbagh 2011
  • Wildekrans, Shiraz Barrel Select Reserve, Walker Bay 2011

Profile:

Situated at between 950m and 1,100m above sea level, Cederberg is the highestaltitude winery in the Cape, and benefits from the gentle but insistent northwesterly wind that blows through the inland vineyards, providing an excellent, disease-free environment for grape growing.

Members of the Nieuwoudt family arrived at Cederberg on South Africa’s west coast (250km north of Cape Town) in the mid-1800s, establishing the Dwarsrivier farm soon after. By 1973 future generations had turned the farm over solely to wine grapes and 50 hectares are now under vine.

Grapes for this Trophy-winner were grown on 10.5ha of vines (with an average age of 11 to 15 years old), planted on largely red shale soils. Picking takes place between 5.30am and 9am to avoid the heat of the day.

Winemaker David Nieuwoudt prides himself on his minimal-intervention, ‘keep it simple’ approach in the cellar: the grapes see a four-day cold maceration before fermentation and then spend 19 days on their skins. Oak is mainly French, 60% new; 28,605 bottles of this 2011 vintage were produced.

Written by Decanter