Boplaas Family Vineyards, in the Klein Karoo hamlet of Calitzdorp, outshone many participants at the 26th annual Veritas wine awards this past weekend, amassing three gold medals as well as a double gold medal. This impressive result is testament to Boplaas’ ranking as one of the Cape’s finest producers.
The Veritas Awards is South Africa’s longest running premier wine competition, and this year 1760 wines and brandies were entered to compete for these prestigious awards. Judge by panels of local and international experts, an impressive total of 38 double gold and 167 gold medals were awarded.
The judge regarded the Boplaas Cape Tawny Vintner’s Bin 1880 N/V worthy of a double gold medal. A true testament to patience and craftsmanship, this Cape Tawny is a blend of only the finest Cape Tawny crafted from Tinta Barocca and Touriga Nacional and matured in 500l port pipes for 12 to 14 years prior to blending. This lusciously complex fortified with its amber colour, heady aromatics and nutty flavour profile, offers those lucky enough to broach a bottle or two the opportunity to taste a rare and fine example of Boplaas Cape Tawny. Best served chilled, this wine is best accompanied by roast duck, pork dishes, mildly spiced Cape Malay cuisine or a fine selection of aged cheeses, charcuterie, preserved green figs or dark chocolate.
The maiden release of the Boplaas Potstill Reserve 12 Year Brandy was honoured with a gold award at Veritas and also a platinum medal at this years’ Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards.
Having first exported brandy to London in 1880, Boplaas was one of the first private cellars to craft and bottle potstill brandy in the Cape after amendments to the law in 1989. For Boplaas patriarch Pupa Danie Nel is was a source of great pride to craft the best possible brandy from his Calitzdorp Colombard, a tradition continued by cellar master Carel Nel.
Glistening amber gold, brimming with a complex bouquet of peach blossom, dried apricot, tangerine, honey, roast almond, sweet wood spice, a mouth coating beeswax-like palate with lengthy finish and warming spirit lilt characterise the Boplaas Potstill 12 Year Reserve Brandy. This fine Boplaas brandy – as all those bottled by Boplaas – was hand-crafted in small batches and aged in Limousine barrique. Due to Calitzdorps’ arid climate, almost a third of the spirits is “lost to the angels” resulting in a concentrated and exceptionally smooth spirit.
The Boplaas Heritage White Muscadel 2013 also boasts a gold medal. The Boplaas Heritage moniker is reserved for the very best Muscats crafted from exceptional sites, utilising traditional vilification methods and bottled in limited quantities to celebrate the Nel’s wine making heritage going back to the 1800’s. Crafted from a patch of vines planted in 1979 by Boplaas patriarch Oupa Danie Nel, the Boplaas Heritage White Muscadel 2013 perfectly reflects the character of the gnarled low-yield Calitzdorp vines. Intense citrus, candied pineapple, ginger honeysuckle and plump apricots greets the taster, while the palate is full lengthy, yet lifted by bright acidity and rounded off with a spicy note.
In the museum class, the Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2006 also won a gold medal – Bolplaas’s signature blend of the Portuguese varietals, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barocca, Souzao and splash of Touriga Franca for added complexity. Darker than a moonless Karoo night, with a tinge of bright purple at the rim, this Port is the perfect representation of classic art in a glass. Bullish tannins with hints of fresh plum, sweet apricots, all-spice, loads of liquorice and fynbos dominate the superbly structured palate. This Cape Vintage Reserve is the culmination of more than a quarter century’s Port making efforts of the Nel family to create an almost flawless Cape Port that will age for more than four decades or so, if stored optimally. The 2006 received a 5 star in the Platter Wine Guide in 2009 and a Grand d’Or (double gold) medal at Michelangelo International Wine Awards in 2012.