The De Grendel Merlot 2011 took gold and the De Grendel Shiraz 2012 took silver at the SAKURA awards held in March in Tokyo. A total of 1900 wines were entered from 33 countries, including France, Australia, Germany and Spain. Wine was categorized in varietals, and judged on a 100 point system.
The SAKURA competition is the first in Japan where the panel of 200 wine industry members, is exclusively female. The competition is organized by the Wine and Spirits Culture Association (WSCA).
The reasoning behind an all-female panel is that they can better understand female wine preferences, and with Japan’s female population of wine drinkers on the increase, a competition like this will help to build this market. The Japanese wine drinking market has tripled in the last 20 years, with women driving this growth.
“Following on the De Grendel Shiraz 2011 Gold award at the 2013 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition (HKIWSC) for Best South African Wine, this win in Tokyo makes it clear that De Grendel wine not only suits the local market, but can stand up to wineries from around the world and highlights our winemaking philosophy,” says De Villiers Graaff, De Grendel director.
The Grendel Merlot 2011 is a full bodied wine well supported by firm French oak. A combination of mulberry, raspberry and blackberry on the nose, accompanied by liquorice and mocha flavours that carry through on the palate. The De Grendel Shiraz 2012 shows coriander, lavender, white pepper and some floral notes on the nose. This full structured wine is well supported by oak undertones and sweet ripe tannins. On the palate the wine finishes with a beautiful clove flavour. The Merlot retails for R100 and the Shiraz for R115 via the De Grendel online store and at the De Grendel Tasting Room.