SA picks its top young winemaker

Youth, as they say, must be served. In this instance, however, youth was doing the serving.

For the sixth year, the Diners Club of South Africa sought a winner for its "Young Winemaker of the Year" award, given to the top 30 or younger wine producers in the country.

Francois Agenbag (seen here) of Wolseley, Breedekloof emerged victorious from a field of 62 Dry Red Wine entries. Competitors were allowed to serve the judges blended or single varietal reds, wood-aged or not.

Agenbag's wine is sold under the Seven Oaks label, made at Mountain Ridge, formerly known as the Romansrivier co-operative. His winning entry was Seven Oaks 6+1 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2004.

Judges' tasting notes: "Powerful blackberry, chocolate, with spicy oak backing. Big, rich and full in the mouth with ripe, balanced tannins and well controlled oak. Sweet-fruited throughout. Long, fruit-filled finish. Lots of development potential."

In the other award given by the club, "Winemaker of the Year" went to Gottfried Mocke, winemaker for the Franschhoek Vineyards label, for his Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve 2005.

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