Warren Robertson
3 minute read
19 Jun 2019
8:45 am

Survivor Pinotage takes trophy at Old Mutual wine show

Warren Robertson

The wine is described as being a hearty expression of black cherries, black olives and chocolate complemented by elegant notes of cedar and oak.

The Survivor Pinotage Reserve 2017, surprised 53 other contestants in the Pinotage category at the recent 2019 Old Mutual trophy wine show to take home the Trophy and Gold medal for Best Pinotage in the competition. A new addition to this unbridled Swartland wine range, the wine is described as being a hearty expression of black cherries, black olives and chocolate complemented by elegant notes of cedar and oak.

“We are overjoyed with our first Trophy at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show after our Survivor Sauvignon Blanc 2017 won a Gold medal at this prestigious competition last year,” said an elated Ben Snyman, Head Winemaker at Overhex Wines International.

Snyman admits that while he was hoping to win something with the wine, which he describes as being “layered with fruit and texture”, he never expected to take home the top prize.

The Swartland survivor series is one that has been defeating expectations at every turn since its inception however and this Pinotage is fine expression of that tradition. With the Swartland being an area inundated with water shortage issues caused by Global warming, Snyman says the farmers in the region have needed to become innovative with their farming practices, and in defining exactly what makes a Swartland wine different.

“Swartland is known for creating grapes with immense concentration, depth and its different wines’ styles,” he says, adding, “The Survivor range is all about barrel fermentation, for the whites, and barrel maturation, for the reds. It complements the immense extraction from the grapes giving the wine the feel and texture of old world wines but the fruit aroma of the new world wine.

That most South African of cultivars, Pinotage has long been regarded as an inferior wine, but over the past decade winemakers have unlocked the secrets of creating consistency and it an award-winning Pinotage can now stand proudly alongside its more world-famous cousins.

“For a long time, Pinotage was a high-yielding wine grape, out of balance. This made Pinotage a commercial style wine, mass produced and often low in quality. Today most producers are focusing on reducing yields, and keeping balance in the vineyards to produce quality grapes, that, with creative winemaking techniques, are making Pinotage the grape that it is known as today- bold in flavour with plums and prune,” Snyman explains.

And Snyman is rightfully proud of the Survivor series Pinotage, which he says offers wine drinkers something very different.

“The Survivor Pinotage reserve outclasses itself in all aspects … You will experience something different from every mouthful you take,” he says.

Those wine drinkers are going to have to rush to secure their share however as only 1 500 individually numbered bottles of Survivor Reserve Pinotage 2017 have been produced.  The Reserve Pinotage is presented in an attractive three-bottle case, with each bottle showcasing a unique label depicting the spirited Nguni cow that inspires the Survivor range, firmly rooted in the Swartland. The wine also comes in individual gift packs and is available at a cellar door price of R390 per bottle.

For those who fail to pick up a bottle or two, Snyman highly recommends the Survivor series Chenin Blanc which he describes as being his “go to wine”.

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