08 April 2019

KWV is proud to announce that its Cathedral Cellar Shiraz 2016 has been rated as one of the Cape Winelands’ top 12 wines in this category, according to the 7th annual Shiraz SA Challenge.  This is the 3rd year that this premium wine has been included as one of SA’s Top 12 Shiraz’s, a performance which KWV says indicates their unwavering commitment to make wines that consistently deliver on quality.

The Shiraz SA Challenge is an annual competition with an exclusive focus on Shiraz and Shiraz-based blends and draws numerous entries each year. This year close to 200 entries were received and assessed by the competition’s judging panel.

Cathedral Cellar is a premium brand within KWV, and is being relaunched locally and internationally, making a huge splash with augmented reality labels.  It is also inspired by the Cathedral Cellar’s most impressive feature: its 32 ‘stukvats’ (barrels) which measure approximately 3 meters in circumference, some of which tell the stories of the South African wine industry with intricate carvings.

Wim Truter, KWV’s Chief Winemaker, and winemaker of Cathedral Cellar wines said it is encouraging that a panel of expert wine tasters rated the Cathedral Cellar Shiraz so highly for a third year – especially since this wine category is a heavily contested one in South Africa.

The Shiraz SA Challenge also awarded KWV the top performer over the past ten years and according to Truter, this result speaks to the heart of the brand, which is to “consistently achieve top quality wine from the tapestry of wine regions KWV has access to”.

He added: “The Cathedral Cellar wines showcase the best in class vineyards, sourced from the Western Cape’s finest production areas to allow true varietal excellence and expression”.

In South Africa, Shiraz is known to portray a diversity of styles when it comes to intensity, varietal characteristics, purity and ageing potential. The grapes for the Cathedral Cellar Shiraz were sourced from five different vineyard sites, allowing the finest characteristics of respective terroirs to contribute to the overall complexity of the wine.

The Cathedral Cellar Shiraz is described as a wine with “lifted aromas of stewed plums, cinnamon and blackberry with layers of sweet fruit and cloves. The palate is concentrated with an elegant tannin structure and a well-rounded, lingering finish.” A combination of first and second fill barrels were used during the maturation process, resulting in a wine with a supple mouthfeel, but plenty of palate weight.

Commenting on the quality of entries, panel convenor Dr Andy Roediger said the continued pace of year-on-year improvement had impressed the judges. “The wines across the board were of improving quality and it appears the winemakers have got their wood regime right.

“Very few wines were heavily oaked, a tendency which is being moved away from. It appears that oak from East Europe is overtaking a preference for American, which has resulted in more spicy Shiraz styles.