This year's winner of the Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for the Best in Show Dry Aromatic Under £15 went to Paul Cluver Gewürztraminer, Elgin 2012, South Africa.
Paul Cluver, Gewurztraminer, Elgin, South Africa 2012 (12.5%)
Aromatic and floral with an exotic nose of Turkish Delight, rose, subtle spice and a fresh grapes. Refreshing and characterful with a hint of sweetness and a nice bitter lift. Elegant.
UK £11.75–£11.99; Amp, GGr, Hig, SWO
Tasted against: There were no other Regional Trophies in this category Argentinian Torrontes has dominated this DWWA category for the past four years but South Africa is on top in 2013 with one of its four International Trophies in this year’s DWWA.
This is a family-owned property, which has been in the Cluver family since 1896, but it was a former neurosurgeon, Paul Cluver, who pioneered commercial farming of grapes almost a century later, in Elgin, an area that was known exclusively for growing fruit.
He planted cool-climate grapes: Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer. As well as 90ha of vineyards, the estate still has orchards, a Hereford cattle stud and zebras. Half of the estate is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been given over to conservation.
Four out of five of the current generation work here, and Cluver’s brother-in-law Andries Burger makes the wines.
This Trophy-winning 2012 Gewurztraminer is made from grapes grown at about 450 metres, within a sniff of the Indian Ocean. It is a semi-dry version – a definite benchmark, demonstrating just what can be achieved with this variety at the Cape. There are delicate notes of rose petals, lychee and exotic fruit, but what makes this wine remarkable is that the natural residual sugar and acidity are so balanced that the wine finishes almost dry.
Lynne Sherriff MW
Written by Decanter