Elgin Vintners The Century 2017, a wine made in tribute to a pioneering centenarian of the Elgin Valley, has shown the ageability of white wines from this cool-climate region by claiming the trophy for Best Museum Class White Blend in the 2021 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show.
A classic white Bordeaux blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, The Century 2017 scored 96 points from the judging panel chaired by leading wine authority Michael Fridjhon, one of only 15 white wines to earn a gold medal out of more than 600 entries in this year’s show.
The Museum Class trophy is awarded for the top-scoring white wine four years and older.
Elgin Vintners winemaker and business manager Dr Marinda Kruger said she was especially delighted for the recognition that The Century 2017 had matured into its full potential over four years, highlighting the misconception that white wines are best enjoyed in their youth.
“The Century is specifically made for ageability, showcasing the balance of power and elegance that our Elgin cool-climate delivers in white wines allowed to mature gracefully. So we are thrilled with not only a gold medal for the wine, but the recognition of its longevity with the Museum Class trophy.
“While museum class winning wines are thought of as something rare and not always widely available, we’re really pleased that our winning wine is the current vintage and our customers have ready access to it via our cellar and online shop,” Kruger said.
She said The Century was a wine close to the hearts of the vintners’ team at Elgin Vintners, as it was launched in 2011 to honour the 100th birthday of Douglas Moodie, one of the founding pioneers of the fruit industry in the valley, with close ties to the founding partners of Elgin Vintners.
“The team had wanted to make a unique and special wine to pay tribute to Douglas’s dedication of his life to farming in Elgin and the role he played in building up a world-class fruit exporting industry, which laid the foundation for wine-growing in the valley. Hence they chose the classic white Bordeaux blend for its status as a premier white wine, its staying power reflecting Douglas Moodie’s long-lasting contribution to the valley and showcasing the absolute best that Elgin can produce,” Kruger said.
The grapes for the first vintage of The Century were sourced exclusively from the Moodie family’s Eikenhof farm, the Elgin property where Mr Moodie started his farming career, which he later bought and is still the family’s home today.
He is recognised for pioneering developments that helped to build up Elgin’s fruit industry, introducing irrigation that secured the valley’s sustainability for farming as well as new technologies in spraying and chemicals, and establishing the first joint venture packhouse to support the farmers of the area in packing and exporting their produce.
Moodie worked closely on the development of farming in Elgin with Jimmy Rawbone-Viljoen, father of Elgin Vintners partner James Rawbone-Viljoen.
The Century 2017 is a blend of 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Semillon, cold-fermented separately with extended lees contact before blending.
The wine draws the eye immediately with its clear, brilliant light yellow tinged with a flash of green. Inviting aromas of pear drops, mango, fennel, and ripe figs with a subtle touch of waxy lanolin imparted by the Semillon lead onto a luxurious, textured palate of sun-ripened golden delicious apples and quince intertwined with an oyster shell mineral core, a generous creaminess and harmonious acidity. A satisfying wine, displaying textured layers of fruit which linger indulgently.
The Century 2017 is available from Elgin Vintners www.elginvintners.co.za/buy-wine/ at R203.
For more information, contact Dr Marinda Kruger on 071 286 7271