Veritas Awards’ highest score in history for De Grendel Elim Shiraz

De Grendel’s unique Elim Shiraz 2019 has made history with the highest score ever achieved in the Veritas Awards, South Africa’s highly respected and longest-running wine competition.

The Veritas judges scored De Grendel Elim Shiraz 2019 a record-setting 98 points, earning a Double Gold medal for the wine in the results announced on Saturday, 6 November.

De Grendel was also awarded two Gold medals, for the Op die Berg Pinot Noir 2019 (92 points) and, in the museum class for white wines four years and older, for Op die Berg Chardonnay 2017 (90 points).

The awarded wines highlight De Grendel’s success in pioneering new winemaking areas at extremes of latitude and altitude – the Elim Shiraz from cool maritime-influenced vineyards close to Africa’s southernmost point of Cape Agulhas, while the Op die Berg (“on the mountain”) vineyards are located near Ceres in one of South Africa’s few truly continental climates, 300km inland and almost a kilometre above sea level.

The Elim vineyards, first identified for their potential by De Grendel cellar master Charles Hopkins more than 20 years ago, produce Shiraz in the sought-after rotundone style of alluringly fragrant, intense black pepper and scrubland herbs that distinguish the world’s best examples of the varietal.

At 960m above sea level, winter snowfalls plunge the vines for Op die Berg Pinot Noir into full dormancy, enabling resting and recovery before the growing season with its sharp contrasts of hot days and cold nights. These conditions result in slower ripening and an elegant, concentrated and luscious terroir-driven Pinot Noir.

The recognition for De Grendel Elim Shiraz 2019 follows the wine’s Top 10 place in the 2021 Shiraz Report, with a score of 94, while Op die Berg Pinot Noir 2019 achieved 93 points and a Top 10 place in the magazine’s Pinot Noir Report.

This award also emphasises the consistent quality that this wine offers with the 2018 and 2017 vintages both earning 5 Stars in the Platter’s Guide, and the 2016 vintage achieving Double Gold status at the Michelangelo Awards as well as a spot in the Shiraz SA Wine Challenge Top 12.

The Veritas Awards are South Africa’s largest and longest-running wine competition, respected in the wine industry and valued by consumers as a trusted indicator of excellence and quality.