Announcing the 2020 Mosaic Top 5 Pinot Noir Wine Award winners

A new South African wine competition focusing exclusively on Pinot Noir red wines, the Mosaic Top 5 Pinot Noir Wine Awards, is proud to announce the winners of its inaugural 2020 awards.

Convened by Top Five Trust in conjunction with the South African Pinot Noir Association, these awards identify five wines to serve as a benchmark for the development of distinctive South African Pinot Noir red wines. The organisers, together with our generous sponsor, Mosaic Family Office, are proud to recognise and support the climate, people, soil, and the multitude of other factors that go into making the best Pinot Noir reds in South Africa.

One of the major objectives of the competition is to illustrate the distinctive quality of South African Pinot Noir to the consumer and the international wine community. Pinot Noir is a demanding variety to cultivate and transform into wine, with a temperament that has earned the variety its ‘heartbreak grape’ moniker.

The competition was held on 16 and 17 September in Cape Town and saw a staggering 109 entries from 64 producers with wines from the 2009 to 2020 vintages. The most entries were from the Walker Bay area (37), followed by Elgin (30), Stellenbosch (12), Franschhoek (9) and the balance from the South Coast, Breede Kloof Valley, Ceres, Tulbagh, South Coast and KwaZulu Natal. Three of the top five winners are from Walker Bay and two from Elgin.

Judging process

Mosaic Top 5 Pinot Noir Wines - 2020

The judging process adheres to strict blind tasting standards as the wines are tasted over a preliminary and a final judging round. Scores are awarded according to the 100-point scale.

The judging panel consists of five members made up of Cape Wine Masters, experienced sommeliers, Masters of Wine and qualified winemakers only. One panel member is appointed as chairperson.

The judging panel for this year’s competition was:


Dr. Winnie Bowman, CWM, Cape Wine Master and renowned international wine judge.

Panel members

Gregory Mutambe, head sommelier at the Twelve Apostles Hotel.

Anton Swarts, CWM, Cape Wine Master and senior winemaker at Spier Wines.

Rüdger van Wyk, cellarmaster at Stark-Condé Wines.

Karin Visser, CWM, Cape Wine Master, Pinot Noir specialist and account manager at Great Domaines.

Top South African Pinot Noir wines

The five best Pinot Noir wines in South Africa are:

»   Creation Wines Art of Pinot Noir 2018

»   Elgin Vintners Pinot Noir 2019

»   La Vierge Wines Apogee Pinot Noir 2016

»   Richard Kershaw Wines Elgin Clonal Selection Pinot Noir 2017

»   The Brew Cru Pinot Noir 2019

90+ Award Medals

Wines that score 90 or more points, but do not make it into the top five, are celebrated with a 90+ award medal.

The 90+ South African Pinot Noir red wines are:

»   Botanica Wines Mary Delany Collection Pinot Noir 2018

»   Creation Wines Pinot Noir 2019

»   Domaine Des Dieux Josephine Pinot Noir 2015

»   Flagstone Wines Fiona Pinot Noir 2016

»   Kat Se Snor Wines Pinot Noir 2017

»   Leopards Leap Family Vineyards Culinaria Pinot Noir 2017

»   Oak Valley Estate Groenlandberg Pinot Noir 2019

»   Richard Kershaw Wines Smugglers Boot Pinot Noir 2016

»   Whalehaven Winery Conservation Coast Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir 2016


Top Five Trust and the South African Pinot Noir Association congratulate the winners of the 2020 Mosaic Top 5 Pinot Noir Awards. We also extend our sincere appreciation to Mosaic Family Office, the leading South African multi-family office, for their generous support.

Bubbles Hyland

Bubbles Hyland

Bubbles Hyland, Well Red Wine Magazine Editor and Founder. Wine is her passion and it's also her job; it engrain every aspect of her life. She aims to make wine accessible, and spread the love and knowledge she has in a fun and approachable manner.

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