The Rosé Wine and Spirit Challenge 2023

The second Rosé Wine and Spirit Challenge tasked panellists to find the best.

Stellenbosch, 25 September 2023 – The 2023 Rosé Wine and Spirit Challenge recently unveiled its panel of judges and celebrated the exceptional products that graced this year’s competition.

The panel of judges for this year’s challenge featured some respected names in the industry, bringing a wealth of expertise and a discerning palate to the table. The 2023 panel included Brendan Butler CWM, Dr. Winnie Bowman CWM, Ralph Renolds – Sommelier, Janine van Zyl, Dr. Caroline Snyman CWM, and Joseph Dhafana – Sommelier. Their dedication to the craft and commitment to excellence ensured a fair and rigorous evaluation process.

The tasting event, which took place on Wednesday, 20 September, showcased an array of exceptional wines and spirits, highlighting the diversity and quality of products in this vibrant category.

Rosé wines and spirits have experienced a remarkable surge in popularity over the past decade, and their growth as a category is undeniably impressive. Rosé offers a delightful spectrum of flavours, from crisp and refreshing to bold and fruity. This diversity caters to a wide range of palates, making it an accessible and enjoyable choice for many consumers.

One of the reasons for the growth in this category is that it can be enjoyed on its own, paired with various foods, or used as a base for cocktails. This adaptability makes it a go-to option for different occasions. The light and elegant nature of rosé wines and spirits has made them synonymous with a relaxed and enjoyable lifestyle. They are often associated with leisure, outdoor gatherings, and celebration, creating a positive and aspirational image.

The visually appealing pink hue of rosé has made it a favourite subject on social media platforms. This has driven its popularity further, with influencers and wine enthusiasts sharing their love for rosé online.

In summary, the growth of rosé wines and spirits can be attributed to their ability to cater to a diverse audience, their adaptability to various occasions, and their association with a positive, aspirational lifestyle. As this category continues to evolve and innovate, it’s likely to remain a cherished choice for wine and spirit enthusiasts worldwide.

Tasting

The Cap Classique wines generally showed yeasty character, beautiful intensity, and good persistence. Although consistently a strong category, one wine stood out: the Darling Cellars Cap Classique Brut Rosé 2020.

The general quality of the Rosé / Blanc de Noir wines was good, but it was the 2023 wines that showed the freshness of fruit and balanced acidity to make them shine. Examples that stood out were Hermanuspietersfontein Bloos and Stellenzicht’s Thunderstone Rosé. Yet it was a 2022 wine walking away with the top honours: Birthmark of Africa Dry Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé.

As always, the array of gins entered is diverse. The gins standing out were the ones that showcased typical botanical and juniper-led character. The Hayward’s Pink Gin was the stand-out product, earning it a trophy award.

Top performers

Trophy Awards

Producer Product Name Vintage
Birthmark of Africa Wines Birthmark of Africa Dry Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2022
Craft Link Distillery Hayward’s Pink Gin NA
Darling Cellars Darling Cellars Cap Classique Brut Rosé 2020

Double Gold

Producer Product Name Vintage
De Krans De Krans Premium Moscato Rosé 2023
Hermanuspietersfontein Hermanuspietersfontein Bloos 2023
Nicholson Smith Agencies CC Pandora’s Box All Day Rosé NA
Simonsvlei International Simonsvlei Methode Cap Classique Rosé NA
Stellenzicht Thunderstone Rosé 2023
The African Spirit Distillery Rum DNA Rosa NA

Gold Award

Producer Product Name Vintage
Flagstone Winery Flagstone Poetry Cinsault Rosé 2023
Flagstone Winery Fish Hoek Cinsault Rosé 2023
Allée Bleue Wines Allée Bleue Brut Rosé MCC 2020
Allée Bleue Wines Allée Bleue Shiraz Rosé 2023
Almenkerk Wine Estate Lace by Almenkerk Dry Rosé Cabernet Sauvignon 2023
Alvi’s Drift Wines International Alvi’s Drift Brut Rosé NV
Babylonstoren Babylonstoren Mourvèdre Rosé 2023
Bein Private Cellar Bein MCC Brut Rosé 2022
Bein Private Cellar Bein Pink Merlot 2023
Bertha Wines Bertha Merlot – Rosé 2023
Beyerskloof Wines Beyerskloof Pinotage Rosé 2023
Walker Bay Estate Walker Bay Vineyards Rosé 2022
Blake Family Wines 16MILE Beach Rooipan Rosé 2023
Lemberg Wine Estate Rosie’s Blanc de noir 2023
Botha Kelder Botha Kelder Blanc de Noir 2023
Carmen Stevens Carmen Stevens Julie Rosè 2023
D’Aria Love Song Rosé 2023
Darling Cellars Darling Cellars Reserve Pyjama Bush Sauvignon blanc/Grenaché 2023
De Krans De Krans Pinotage Rosé 2023
De Meye De Meye Rosé 2023
De Wet Cellar Vintage Mashup Chardonnay Pinot Noir Grenache Noir 2021
Deetlefs Wine Estate Stonecross Pinotage Rosé 2023
Great Karoo Spirit Bossieveld Karoo Watermelon Craft Gin NA
Groot Constantia Estate Groot Constantia Rosé 2023
Klawer Wynkelders Villa Esposto Pinotage Rosé 2023
Denneboom Vineyards Emmara Mourvèdre Rosé 2022
Kleinood Tamboerskloof Katharien Rosé 2023
Siwela Wines Siwela Brut Rosé MCC 2022
Siwela Wines Siwela Pinotage Rosé 2023
La Motte La Motte Rosé (Vin de Joie) 2023
Le Pommier Wine Estate Le Pommier Maraai Rosé 2023
Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards Leeuwenkuil Rosé 2022
Welgegund Heritage Wines Welgegund Heritage Wines Rosé 2023
Lozärn Wines Lozärn Wines Carménère Rosé 2023
Lyngrove Wines and Vineyards Lyngrove Collection Shiraz Rosé 2023
Mont Rochelle Mountain Vineyards Little Rock Rosé 2023
Montagu Winery Lady Mary Montagu Pink Moscato NV
Morgenhof Wines Morgenhof Pinotage Rosé 2023
Nicholson Smith Agencies CC Bella Vino Perky Pink NA
Niel Joubert Wines Niel Joubert Wine Blanc de Noir 2023
Riebeek Cellars Riebeek Cellars Collection Pinotage Rosè 2023
Simonsvlei International Lifestyle Pinotage Rosé 2023
Simonsvlei International Vineyard Selection Shiraz Rosé 2023
Slanghoek Wynkelder Vinay Vin Rosé NV
Bloemendal Wine Estate Bloemendal Merlot Rosé 2023
Stellenbosch Hills Polkadraai Rosé 2023
Stellenview Premium Wines Kruger Family Reserve Rosé 2022
Van Loveren Family Vineyards Christiena Trousseau MCC Brut Rosé NV
Van Loveren Family Vineyards Zanvliet Syrah Rosé 2023
Van Loveren Family Vineyards Van Loveren Daydream Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2023
Villion Family Wines Rosa Rabbedoe Rosé 2023
Lynx Wine Estate Lynx Blanc de Noir 2023
Welbedacht Wine Estate Meerkat Pinotage Rosé 2023
Windmeul Kelder Windmeul Kelder Pinotage Rosé 2023
Winkelshoek Wine Cellars Schenkfontein Rosé 2020
Winkelshoek Wine Cellars Cap Vino Chardonnay / Pinot noir 2022
Yonder Hill Wines Yonder Hill Danilo Rosé 2023

Details about the 2024 Rosé Wine and Spirit Challenge will be announced in the last week of January 2024.

For inquiries, visit https://rosechallenge.co.za, or e-mail info@rosechallenge.co.za