Unbroken Graham Beck (Pheasants’) run at Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Wine Awards

Originally posted by Erica Liebenberg from EricaMeles PR – Friday, 22 October 2010

The announcement at the Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Wine Awards 2010 on Wednesday 20 October was met with great celebration at Graham Beck Wines. Two vintages of the Pheasants’ Run were placed in the Top Ten, securing an unbroken history of achievement at the event.

The wine, whose likening in style to the cult region of Sancerre is affirmed by its vast popularity, is the sole contender to have appeared in the line up every year in the four years since the awards commenced. This, coupled with its second placement for two vintages is another Top 10 first, and a great delight to its maker, Erika Obermeyer; whose love for the cultivar reaches near-obsessive proportions.

“Although enjoyment of the wine is the foremost factor to me, obviously this kind of recognition can’t be beat,” Erika says. “It’s great to be amongst those thought to do justice to the cultivar!”

The quality of entries to the awards overall this year led the convenors at WINE magazine to conclude that there is “little dispute” that Sauvignon Blanc is South Africa’s “strongest category”*.
The Pheasants’ Run wines, 2009 and 2010, were awarded four and a half stars; the perfect score of five stars having been achieved last year with vintage 2009 – this widely recognised as the best vintage in years for Sauvignon Blanc. A single perfect score was awarded for 2010, among a record number of entries that catapulted the cultivar to the biggest category to be assessed by the magazine panel.

Both of the Pheasants’ Run wines won Veritas Gold last month; the achievement of their predecessors including, among others, Veritas Double Gold; Grand D’or and Double Gold at the Michelangelo Wine Awards; a Winemakers’ Choice Diamond Award; and three-times selection as the Best Sauvignon Blanc at the SA Young Wine Show.

The wines were also instrumental in Erika’s selection as the 2008 Woman Winemaker of the Year; and in news announced the same day as the Sauvignon Blanc Top 10, the Pheasants’ Run 2010 had been placed in the Bartho Eksteen Sauvignon Blanc Celebration top ten listing for 2010.

The recent performance of the wider Graham Beck range has included seven Veritas and Michelangelo Gold awards; these spread broadly across varietals. Graham Beck Cellar Master Pieter Ferreira said, “the variety of cultivars performing recently indicates our shared belief in creating ‘nothing less’. We keep this goal to heart regardless of cultivar; whether it’s a still wine or Méthode Cap Classique. I think this makes the recent results all the more significant to our team – and none more so than Erika.”

The full Michelangelo and Veritas results are shown below.

Michelangelo Wine Awards, Gold, 2010
– Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs MCC 2007
– Graham Beck The Game Reserve Chenin Blanc 2009

Veritas Awards, Gold, 2010
– Graham Beck Pheasants’ Run Sauvignon Blanc 2009
– Graham Beck The Ridge Syrah 2006
– Graham Beck Bowed Head Chenin Blanc 2009
– Graham Beck Lonehill Chardonnay 2008
– Graham Beck Pheasants’ Run Sauvignon Blanc 2010
– Ends –
*Reference: winemag.co.za, 20 October 2010, click here

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