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News roundup: local wineries lifting spirits

Stellenbosch remains a centre of excellence in the South African wine industry. Over the last two weeks, Kanonkop set a new South African sales record, Tokara took two spots in the national top 10 of this year’s Cabernet Sauvignon Report and Eikendal ushered in a new era as their new winemaker kicked off with a bang.

Kanonkop sets new South African wine record

Kanonkop Wine Estate set a new South African wine record last week at the Strauss & Co – Fine Art Auctioneers and Consultants virtual online auction. The estate’s offering of 19 large-format bottles of their signature Bordeaux-style wine attracted considerable interest and eventually sold for double the pre-sale estimate. Hammer prices on the day showed good demand for vintage South African wines. The 2015 vintage from Kanonkop and Boekenhoutskloof, in particular, received high interest and record prices. The top-selling Paul Sauer vertical came from a private collection assembled and stored at Kanonkop. Few wines are bottled regularly in large format, especially over three decades, making this record-achieving vertical somewhat unique. A smaller vertical of Paul Sauer vintages from 1997 to 2002, each bottle of the six bottles measuring three litres, sold for R 91 040. “We are delighted to have repeated the excellent performance of our initial virtual sale in May by successfully selling every lot in our current catalogue. We are especially proud to have affirmed Kanonkop’s pedigree as a highly collectable fine wine.” said Frank Kilbourn, chairperson of Strauss & Co.
“Poised and precise” with a palate of “great purity and freshness to go with fine tannins”, is how the wine is described in the 2020 Cape Bordeaux Red Blend Report. The wine has intense aromas of red and black fruits with hints of dried cranberry, baking spice and graphite.

Tokara clinches two spots in SA Top 10 rankings

Tokara’s acclaim as a producer of world-class red wines from prized Stellenbosch vineyards was consolidated with two Cabernet-led reds attaining Top 10 status in consecutive South African wine reports. Tokara Director’s Reserve Red 2017 secured Top 10 in the 2020 Prescient Cape Bordeaux Red Blend Report, with TOKARA Reserve Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 making the Top 10 cut in the 2020 Prescient Cabernet Sauvignon Report. Both reports are convened annually by Winemag.co.za. Since its maiden 2003 vintage, the Cabernet Sauvignon driven Director’s Reserve Red has grown in stature as a world-class Bordeaux-style blend with a string of accolades in tow. The stand out 2017 vintage is a consummate blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (73%), Merlot (15%), Petit Verdot (9%), and Cabernet Franc (3%). “It enters the palate with incredible purity and focus,” adds Tokara winemaker Stuart Botha.
“I am extremely excited about the wine,” Maryke says about the Eikendal Rosé 2020. “It has the most beautiful suggestion of colour, with an amazing flavour profile – a combination of red berries, candy floss and rosewater, with a gentle yet lively, crisp and refreshing acidity.”

Eikendal’s new winemaker stakes her claim

Stellenbosch winery Eikendal has embarked on a new era with the official appointment of Maryke Botha as its winemaker. Until recently, she served as assistant to cellar master Nico Grobler, who departs after an 11-year tenure to develop his own wine project. Maryke hits the position with a bang too, crowing her ascension with a Gold medal for the Eikendal Rosé 2020 – the first wine she released as full winemaker. The accolade was awarded at the most recent Gilbert & Gaillard International Challenge.          This year’s harvest was the first that Maryke shouldered as Eikendal’s winemaker. All 2020 white wines have been produced under her lead, while she also shared responsibility for Eikendal’s 2019 reds and from the preceding year, for the Eikendal Classique Bordeaux blend.