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Medal Glory for 240 Producers at the 2010 Michelangelo CCL Label International Wine Awards
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The results of the 14th annual Michelangelo CCL Label International Wine Awards (MIWA) were announced at a gala luncheon at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West on September 10, 2010.

This year 240 producers entered a total of 1 310 wines of which 426 received medals. A total of 28 Grand D'Or, 116 gold medals and 282 silver medals were awarded by the 15 international judges.

As was the case in 2009, the Shiraz category dominated the entries with a total number of 162 wines. They garnered 4 Grand D'Or, 21 gold and 46 silver medals. In this class the judges remarked that very few wines with the so-called "burnt rubber" phenomenon were tasted, despite inferences to this effect in the media. The three to five year old wines showed optimally, and the judges were impressed with the quality of the Shiraz entries in general.

Pinotage was yet again a palate pleaser and from 87 entries two Grand D'Or, eight gold and 23 silver medals were awarded to this category.

The older Cabernet Sauvignon examples showed well, particularly wines from the 2005 vintage. From 123 entries the judges rewarded two with Grand D'Or medals, two with gold medals and 16 with silver medals.

The Cabernet Franc wines entered were found to be outstanding. One judge was of the opinion that they were better than those from the Loire Valley and the panel awarded one gold and three silver medals to this class of 6 entries.

The improving quality of South African Merlot is supported by the fact that the panel agreed on 3 Grand D'Or, 16 gold and 17 silver medals from 58 entries.

Among the white wine entries a record number of 154 Sauvignon Blanc hopefuls were tasted. The Sauvignon Blanc class garnered two double gold, 16 gold and 40 silver medals - considerably less than in previous years. The panel was of the opinion that the 2010 wines did not match the quality of past vintages at the time of judging.

According to Sue van Wyk, technical director of the competition, the quality of the Chardonnay entries showed a great improvement from previous years. She attributes this to the use of less oak, as well as the more judicious choice of oak barrels and their toasting. "Thankfully, it appears that the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) decade is over! In Australia a definite resurgence of Chardonnay has been noted where consumers are turning away from cheap look-alike Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs to Chardonnay. Out of a 102 Chardonnay entries 6 double gold medals, 12 gold and 15 silver medals were awarded.

The 62 Chenin Blanc entries showed a variety of styles and in this class one Grand D'Or, five gold and 28 silver medals were awarded.

In accordance with the rules of the Michelangelo International Wine Awards only 30% of entries may be awarded a medal which adds to the prestige of a wine bearing a Michelangelo medal. In the event of several wines attaining the same score at the cut off for specific medals, all wines with that score are awarded a medal which may lead to the 30% being exceeded.

In addition, nine trophies were awarded. The trophy winners are:

The CCL Label Grand Prix Trophy: Marianne Estate Shiraz 2007
This trophy is awarded for the wine with the highest score in the competition.

The Grotto 2010 Top Producer Trophy: Diemersdal Wine Estate, Durbanville

The RX South Africa Most Innovative Wine on Show Trophy: Blaauwklippen Zinfandel Noble Late Harvest 2009

The Organic Trophy: La Motte Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Good Taste Garagiste Trophy: Mount Vernon Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

The Sue van Wyk Pinotage Trophy: Altydgedacht Pinotage 2009

Toneleria Magrenan Brandy Trophy: KWV 20 Year Old Potstill Brandy

Golden Oldie Trophy: Anura Vineyards Shiraz Mouvèdre Reserve 2003

Dessert Wine Trophy: Badsberg Noble Late Harvest 2005

The following wines were awarded Grand D'Or Medals:

Altydgedacht Pinotage 2009
Anura Shiraz Mourvèrde Reserve 2003
Anura Chardonnay Limited Release 2009
Badsberg Noble Late Harvest 2009
Badsberg Noble Late Harvest 2005
Badsberg Badlese 2009
Bloemendal Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Bonnievale Cellar Chardonnay 2010
Dieu Donné Merlot 2008
Dunstone Shiraz 2008
Grand Provence Chardonnay 2009
Groote Post Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Hoopenburg Chardonnay 2007
Journey's End Chardonnay 2008
Journey's End Merlot 2007
Kranskop Chardonnay 2008
Leopard Frog Vineyards Spellbinding Chenin Blanc 2006-2009 vintage blend
Marianne Shiraz 2007
Mischa Merlot 2009
Mount Vernon Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Nederburg Private Bin Eminence 2009
Neil Joubert Shiraz 2002
Perdeberg Rex Equus Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Saronsberg Provenance Red 2008
Saronsberg Shiraz 2007
Swartland Blanc de Noir 2010
Welgegund Pinotage 2009
Zorgvliet Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

The 2010 judging panel were:

Florent Lancon (France)
Chris Alblas (The Netherlands)
Rui Falcao (Portugal)
Subhash Arora (India)
Patricia Guy (Italy)
Ruben Garcia Franco (Spain)
Quentin Sadler (UK)
Roderic Proniewski (Singapore)
Sue van Wyk (Australia)
Claudio Salgado (Brazil)
Bojan Kobal (Slovenia)
Annette Hamani (USA)
Christine Rudman (South Africa)
Parani Chitrakorn (Thailand)
Maria Katsoulis (Greece)

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