KWV's 12 year Barrel Select Brandy won the 2014 Worldwide Brandy Trophy Award for its class at this year's prestigious International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) awards ceremony in London.
This follows closely on KWV winning Best Brandy in the World at the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) 2013 with its KWV 15 Alambic Brandy, cementing its reputation as one of the most awarded Brandy producers in South Africa. Over 90 countries entered this year's IWSC competition, which was founded in 1969 and is widely considered the most prestigious independent competition in the world.
"To win Worldwide Best Brandy 2014 is the highest accolade and demonstrates our Brandy team's commitment to innovation and quality of the highest standard," says Pieter de Bod, Master Distiller at KWV. "The combination of detailed technical analysis and specialist judging panels means that winning the world renowned IWSC competition is an exceptional achievement, and to win a total of seven IWSC awards for all of our premium brandies is fantastic."
de Bod continues: "The award is testimony to KWV's Craftsmanship in Brandy and, increasingly, KWV Brandy is being recognised as a credible and formidable competitor to Cognac. South African brandy standards and processes are on par, if not better, than the equivalent Cognac standards with the only difference being the location from where the grapes that provide the base wine for distillation are sourced."
Peadar Hegarty, KWV Strategy Director, says that the KWV 12 Barrel Select, which launched just last year, has won this award at the first time of entering. "KWV 12 is our latest Major winner from the Home of the Best Brandies in the World, following hot on the heels of our KWV 15 winning Best Brandy in the World at ISC 2013. In the true KWV tradition of Proud Pioneers, representing artful blending by Pieter and his team, KWV 12 delivers the perfect marriage of cultivar and aged potstill."
Distilled in the world's largest copper potstill distillery at KWV's brandy cellars in Worcester, Western Cape, the KWV 12 is matured in small French oak barrels giving it a unique, smooth taste and is distilled mainly from Chenin Blanc and Colombar grapes.
"On the nose there is dried fig, potpourri, citrus and a hint of white chocolate and it has a great taste with a combination of dried fruit flavours with honey and oak wood, and is well balanced with a lingering aftertaste," says de Bod.
The IWSC judging panel comprises of carefully selected industry experts including Masters of Wine, buyers, sommeliers, WSET qualified educators and respected wine journalists.
IWSC award judges commented that the KWV 12 presents itself as deep, old gold and that it has an attractive nose filled with dried apricot, raisins and spice. They also commented that the blend is smooth, refined entry with a good balance of mature notes and some vigour and that citrus and some tropical flavours enrich the mouth. They added that vanilla and cinnamon play an important role as does the fine, old oak support and long, mellow finish.
de Bod says that KWV has won the trophy for Best Brandy at IWSC 7 times and has amassed some 470 awards and medals in just over 24 months - 300 of which were achieved in the past year alone.
Some of the most notable recent achievements include:
- KWV 15 Year Old won the title Best Brandy in the World at the International Spirits
- KWV 20 Year Old was named South Africa's Best Brandy in 2014 by the South African Wine Index
(SAWI) and received the SAWI trophy for Best Brandy producer in SA
- KWV received a coveted five-star status in Platter's Wine Guide for its KWV 15 and 20 Year
- KWV 10 wins Best Brandy in the World 2011
- KWV also won Champion and Trophy at the ISC 8 times
De Bod and his team's distillation and blending skills have also created a notable first in the soon to be released KWV Héritage XO Cognac. KWV will be showcasing XO and its award winning Brandy range at selected events nationwide, beginning with this weekend's KwaMashu Wine and Lifestyle Festival in Durban.