The South African Top 100 results are announced

It was only a few weeks ago that I was one of the small international team judging the new South African Top 100 competition.

It was a competition that begin amid controversy: a lot of noses had been put out of joint, most notably Michael Fridjohn, who runs an existing wine competition (see this legal challenge aiming to take out this Top 100 competition before it began).

Now the results have been released. They make interesting reading. Personally, I am thrilled by the list. It contains some fantastic wines, and as one of the judging panel I’m proud to stand behind them. Remarkably, the book containing the results is also published today, which must be some sort of world record.

I think Robin von Holdt deserves a lot of praise for persevering in the face of a lot of criticism and negativity. The results vindicate his original vision for a seriously judged competition with real credibility. His aim is to create something that helps consumers choose the finest wines from South Africa, and the publication and associated events should help to do this.

53 comments to The South African Top 100 results are announced

  • Izak Smit

    I agree with the comments of Angela Loyd and Michael Fridjon. We also simply don’t have enough judges with the right qualifications in the first place. Why then yet another wine competition. Why not reduce the number of competitions as judges for instance can’t objectively carry on tasting more than a max 40 wines per day? Where are we heading with all of this? There are enough shows and information about our top wines. Not only is the name suspect but the statement: “the definative global reference point for the decerning lover of South African wines” made even before results were known says a lot. Then, only 16 of the 34 winning wines also rated by the SA Wine Index made it onto the 96+ Club.
    At least, all wine panels the world over agrees ith that. The Index took 4 years of researh while further studies are still being undertaken. How can one come up with a competition in a few months as it is maintained. Why can’t did someone not provide more credible reasons for starting the this so called top 100 competition?

  • Er…who says judges can’t taste more than 40 wines a day? The point, surely, is that most SA judges lack international perspective, experience and credibility. Sorry, but it’s true. Only Michael, who is an excellent taster, regularly judges wines from overseas.

    How much does, say, the ludicrous Neil Pendock know about French, Spanish, Chilean, Italian, German, Australian, Kiwi or Argentinean wines? He hasn’t even been to visit Eben Sadie’s cellar and it’s very close to his own grape growing venture in the Swartland. Not exactly open-minded is he?

  • Izak Smit

    “Er…who says judges can’t taste more than 40 wines a day?” Judges say that themselves…but I am not responding to someone that clearly misses the point and don’t even attempt to answer a simple straight forward question about “why yet another competition”, while having our icons identified already. Why discredit it, or attempting to do it by introducing yet another competition?

    Then, the point raised that most SA judges lack international perspective, experience and credibility. If true, will the introduction of new competition overcome that? Actually, I don’t think this warrants any further attention so I’ll leave it at that.

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