South African winemakers can be proud of their performance at this year’s International Wine Challenge (IWC), palming in 15 gold, 127 silver and 3 151 bronze medals at this prestigious global wine competition.

The IWC is accepted as the world’s finest and most meticulously judged wine competition which assesses every wine blind and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage.

Durbanville-based Diemersdal‘s flagship red wine, the MM Louw Cabernet Sauvignon was only one of two South African Cabernet Sauvignons to achieve gold medal status at the 2018 IWC, achieving a score of 95 from the judges. The other Cabernet Sauvignon that achieved gold medal status was Neil Ellis Jonkershoek 2015.

According to Thys Louw, sixth generation cellar master and proprietor of Diemersdal Estate, this achievement at IWC underscores the Diemersdal region’s legacy of excellence in red wine making.

“Durbanville has over the past 15 years built-up a formidable reputation for our white wines – especially Sauvignon Blanc,” says Louw, who is also known as one of South Africa’s leading Sauvignon Blanc wine makers. “But history will always have the final say when it comes to showing what you can do, and with Durbanville’s illustrious past wherein some of the country’s greatest reds were made, the climate and the soils of this region are always going to appeal to wine makers who seek greatness from red wines.”

To illustrate this, Louw states that South Africa’s most famous wine, GS Cabernet Sauvignon 1966 was made from grapes grown in a Durbanville vineyard. The 2015 vintage was, says Louw, a fantastic one for red wines.

“The success of our red wines, I believe, lies in dryland vineyards and manual punch-downs in open-fermenters,” says Louw. “But it must also be said that the quality of the 2015 fruit was incredible due to a temperate growing season and perfect ripening conditions. From the moment the fruit started fermenting, I told my team we were onto something big. Everyone was tremendously pleased at how this wine turned out, and the IWC Gold is a cherry on top.

“It is very rewarding to see the MM Louw Cabernet Sauvignon as one of only two South African Cabernets to wine Gold. This is arguably the country’s strongest international red wine category, with the standard of South African Cabernet Sauvignon having never being higher than now. To excel among my peers who are producing such excellence wines is a true honour.”

Four South African Chenin Blancs were also counted among the gold medal winners. This includes Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc 2017, Stellenrust Old Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2016 and Stellenrust’s 52 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2016 and 2017.

Medal winners include:

GOLD:

  • Constantia Glen Two 2017 (Produced by Constania Glen Winery)
  • Isliedh 2016 (Produced by Cape Point Vineyards)
  • Neil Ellis Jonkershoek Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (Produced by Neil Ellis Wines)
  • Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage 2015 (Produced by Kaapzicht Estate)
  • Bouchard-Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2016 (Produced by Bouchard-Finlayson)
  • La Couronne Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2016 (Produced by La Couronne Wines)
  • Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc 2017 (Produced by Kleine Zalze Wines)
  • Boschendal Elgin Chardonnay 2016 (Produced by Boschendal Wines)
  • Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Shiraz 2015 (Produced by Kleine Zalze Wines)
  • Stellenrust 52 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2016 (Produced by Stellenrust Wine Estate)
  • Stellenrust Old Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2016 (Produced by Stellenrust Wine Estate)
  • Stellenrust 53 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2017 (Produced by Stellenrust Wine Estate)
  • Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest 2017 (Produced by Paul Cluver Wines)
  • The Single Tree Chardonnay 2015 (Produced by Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards)

SILVER:

  • Asda Extra Special South African Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (Produced by Int. Procurement & Logistics)
  • ‘The Rhona’ Brut Rose NV (Produced by Graham Beck)
  • Asda Extra Special Chenin Blanc 2017 (Produced by Int. Procurement & Logistics)
  • Bellingham Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2017 (Produced by Bellingham Wines)
  • Bellingham Homestead Chenin Blanc 2017 (Produced by Bellingham Wines)
  • Bellingham Homestead Shiraz 2016 (Produced by Bellingham Wines)
  • Babylonstoren Mourvedre Rose 2017 (Produced by Babylonstoren)
  • Babylonstoren Babel Blend, 2016 (Produced by Babylonstoren)
  • Bon Courage Blanc de Blancs 2011 (Produced by Bon Courage Wine Estate)
  • Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2014 (Produced by Doran Vineyards)
  • Bon Courage Chardonnay Prestige Cuvée, 2016 (Produced by Bon Courage Wine Estate)
  • Bosman Adama White, 2016 (Produced by Bosman Family Vineyards)
  • Bouchard Finlayson Crocodile’s Lair/Kaaimansgat Chardonnay, 2016 (Produced by Bouchard-Finlayson)
  • Bouchard-Finlayson Hannibal, 2016 (Produced by Bouchard-Finlayson)
  • Bouchard-Finlayson Missionvale Chardonnay, 2016 (Produced by Bouchard-Finlayson)
  • Bouchard-Finlayson Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 (Produced by Bouchard-Finlayson)
  • Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay, 2017 (Produced by Boschendal Wines)
  • Boschendal Jean Le Long, 2008 (Produced by Boschendal Wines)
  • Boschendal Elgin Merlot, 2015 (Produced by Boschendal Wines)
  • Boschendal Elgin Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 (Produced by Boschendal Wines)
  • Diemersdal 8 Rows Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 (Produced by Diemersdal Wine Estate)
  • Cimarosa SA Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 (Produced by Lidl UK)
  • Cimarosa SA Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016 (Produced by Lidl UK)
  • Constantia Glen Three, 2015 (Produced by Constantia Glen Winery)
  • De Grendel Shiraz, 2016 (Produced by De Grendel Wines)
  • DeMorgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc, 2017 (Produced by DeMorgenzon)
  • DeMorgenzon Reserve Syrah, 2015 (Produced by DeMorgenzon)
  • Definition Chenin Blanc, 2017 (Produced by De Morgenzon)
  • Brampton Roxton, 2015 (Produced by Brampton Wines)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon Meinert, 2014 (Produced by Martin Meinert)
  • Diemersdal Winterferment Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 (Produced by Diemersdal Wine Estate)
  • Diemersdal Pinotage Reserve, 2016 (Produced by Diemersdal Wine Estate)
  • GlenWood Semillon/Sauvignon blanc Grand Duc, 2016 (Produced by GlenWood)
  • DMZ Syrah, 2016 (Produced by DeMorgenzon)
  • Flagstone Noon Gun, 2016 (Produced by Accolade Wines)
  • Flagstone Free Run, 2017 (Produced by Accolade Wines)
  • Flagstone Writer’s Block, 2015 (Produced by Accolade Wines)
  • Flagstone Dark Horse, 2014 (Produced by Accolade Wines)
  • Franschhoek Cellar La Cotte Mill Chenin Blanc, 2017 (Produced by Franschhoek Cellar)
  • Ernie Els Signature, 2013 (Produced by Ernie Els Wines)
  • GlenWood Vigneron’s Selection Chardonnay, 2016 (Produced by GlenWood)
  • Groot Constantia Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 (Produced by Groot Constantia Wine Estate)
  • Groot Constantia Shiraz, 2015 (Produced by Groot Constantia Wine Estate)
  • Groot Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016 (Produced by Groot Constantia Wine Estate)
  • Groot Constantia Pinotage, 2016 (Produced by Groot Constantia Wine Estate)
  • Groot Constantia Grand Constance, 2015 (Produced by Groot Constantia Wine Estate)
  • Grand Vin Chardonnay/Viognier, 2017 (Produced by Home of Origin Wine)
  • Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs 2013 (Produced by Graham Beck)
  • Graham Beck Brut Rosé, 2013 (Produced by Graham Beck)
  • Hartenberg Chardonnay, 2016 (Produced by Hartenberg Estate)
  • Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 (Produced by Kleine Zalze Wines)
  • Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 (Produced by Kleine Zalze)
  • Kaapzicht Steytler Vision, 2015 (Produced by Kaapzicht Estate)
  • Jordan Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, 2017 (Produced by Jordan Wine Estate)
  • Jordan Cobblers Hill, 2015 (Produced by Jordan Wine Estate)
  • Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay, 2016 (Produced by Jordan Wine Estate)
  • Jordan Inspector Péringuey Chenin Blanc, 2016 (Produced by Jordan Wine Estate)
  • Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 (Produced by Kleine Zalze Wines)
  • Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015 (Produced by Kleine Zalze Wines)
  • Ken Forrester Wines The FMC Chenin, 2016 (Produced by Ken Forrester Wines)
  • L’Avenir Single Block Chenin Blanc, 2016 (Produced by L’Avenir Wine Estate)
  • La Motte Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 (Produced by La Motte)
  • Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 (Produced by Kleine Zalze)
  • Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015 (Produced by Kleine Zalze)
  • Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Shiraz Mourvédre Viognier, 2016 (Produced by Kleine Zalze)
  • KWV The Mentors Grenache Noir, 2015 (Produced by KWV)
  • KWV Cathedral Cellar Shiraz, 2014 (Produced by KWV)
  • KWV The Mentors Cabernet Sauvignon Darling, 2014 (Produced by KWV)
  • KWV The Mentors Noble Late Harvest, 2015 (Produced by KWV)
  • Kumala Reserve Shiraz, 2017 (Produced by Accolade Wines)
  • Limited Release Carignan, 2015 (Produced by Swartland Winery)
  • Laborie MCC Blanc de Blanc, 2011 (Produced by KWV)
  • Limited Release Mourvedre, 2016 (Produced by Swartland Winery)
  • Lyngrove Platinum Pinotage, 2016 (Produced by Baarsma South Africa)
  • Lyngrove Platinum Chenin Blanc, 2017 (Produced by Baarsma South Africa)
  • Lismore Age of Grace Viognier, 2016 (Produced by Lismore Estate)
  • Lismore Chardonnay, 2015 (Produced by Lismore Estate)
  • Linton Park Estate De Slange Rivier, 2015 (Produced by Linton Park Wine Estate)
  • Leeuwenkuil Grenache Noir, 2016 (Produced by Vinimark Trading)
  • Leeuwenkuil Cinsault, 2016 (Produced by Vinimark Trading)
  • Mm Louw Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 (Produced by Diemersdal Wine Estate)
  • Maestro White, 2016 (Produced by DeMorgenzon)
  • Maestro Blue, 2015 (Produced by DeMorgenzon)
  • Maestro Red, 2016 (Produced by DeMorgenzon)
  • Neil Ellis Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015 (Produced by Neil Ellis Wines)
  • Neil Ellis Groenekloof Cinsaut, 2015 (Produced by Neil Ellis Wines)
  • Neil Ellis Whitehall Chardonnay, 2016 (Produced by Neil Ellis Wines)
  • Marks and Spencer Kendal Lodge Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc, 2016 (Produced by Journey’s End)
  • Marks and Spencer Journey’s End Honeycomb Chardonnay, 2017 (Produced by Journeys End Vineyards)
  • Lyngrove Platinum Shiraz, 2016 (Produced by Baarsma South Africa)
  • Noordhoek Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 (Produced by Cape Point Vineyards)
  • Paul Cluver Riesling, 2017 (Produced by Paul Cluver Wines)
  • Paul Cluver Estate Chardonnay, 2017 (Produced by Paul Cluver Wines)
  • Paul Cluver Estate Pinot Noir, 2016 (Produced by Paul Cluver Wines)
  • Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 (Produced by Paul Cluver Wines)
  • Paul Cluver Seven Flags Chardonnay, 2017 (Produced by Paul Cluver Wines)
  • Paul Cluver Seven Flags Pinot Noir, 2016 (Produced by Paul Cluver Wines)
  • O.T.V., 2015 (Produced by Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards)
  • Porcupine Ridge Shiraz, 2017 (Produced by Vinimark Trading)
  • Porcupine Ridge Chenin Blanc, 2017 (Produced by Vinimark Trading)
  • Short Street SGM, 2016 (Produced by Riebeek Cellars)
  • Saronsberg Provenance Shiraz, 2016 (Produced by Saronsberg Cellar)
  • Rhona Brut, NV (Produced by Graham Beck)
  • Sauvignon Blanc Reserve, 2016 (Produced by Cape Point Vineyards)
  • Saronsberg Full Circle, 2016 (Produced by Saronsberg Cellar)
  • Saronsberg Shiraz, 2016 (Produced by Saronsberg Cellar)
  • Stellenrust Chenin Blanc (Stellenbosch Manor), 2017 (Produced by Stellenrust Wine Estate)
  • Roodeberg Dr Charles Niehaus, 2016 (Produced by KWV)
  • Rustenberg John X Merriman, 2015 (Produced by Rustenberg Wines)
  • Sing-a-Wing Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 (Produced by Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards)
  • The Bell Tower, 2013 (Produced by Asara Wine Estate)
  • Surfer’s Path Shiraz, 2017 (Produced by The Project Wines)
  • Survivor Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016 (Produced by Overhex Wines International)
  • Survivor Pinotage, 2016 (Produced by Overhex Wines International)
  • Stellenrust Peppergrinder Shiraz, 2015 (Produced by Stellenrust Wine Estate)
  • The Dance Cabernet Franc, 2015 (Produced by Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards)
  • Strandveld Pofadderbos Sauvignnon Blanc, 2017 (Produced by Strandveld Wines)
  • Swartland Shiraz, 2016 (Produced by International Procurement & Logistics)
  • The Songbird, 2017 (Produced by D’Aria Winery)
  • The Pledge Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 (Produced by Home of Origin Wine)
  • Vineyard Collection Chenin Blanc, 2016 (Produced by Asara Wine Estate)
  • Villiera Monro Brut, 2011 (Produced by Villiera)
  • Thelema Shiraz, 2014 (Produced by Thelema Mountain Vineyards)
  • Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 (Produced by Thelema Mountain Vineyards)
  • Timestone Vineyards Marsanne Grenache Blanc, 2017 (Produced by Trizanne)
  • The Soprano, 2016 (Produced by D’Aria Winery)
  • The Wolftrap White, 2017 (Produced by Vinimark Trading)

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