UK-based Harper’s Wine & Spirit Names Survivor Chenin Blanc Star of the Swartland

Survivor Cabernet Sauvignon wins Star of Design

In a formidable display of its marketability, Overhex Wines International recently received an incredible endorsement in the UK-based Harpers Wine & Spirit Wine Star Awards. No less than two of its wines in its Survivor Wines portfolio took the honours in highly contested categories. The Survivor Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc 2016 was judged as the best label from South Africa, and received the Star of Design South Africa, while the Survivor Chenin Blanc 2017 was awarded the Star of Swartland, as the best wine from this popular wine region.

Harpers Wine & Spirit has been positioned at the heart of the drinks trade since 1878 provides the latest news, trends, insights, analysis and industry-leading opinions as an invaluable resource to assist all those in the trade looking to drive their businesses forward. The Harper’s Wine & Spirit Wine Star Awards is an independent competition which offers reviews by the UK’s most renowned buyers from across the on and off-trade sectors.

This competition provides invaluable insight into the marketability of South African wines in the UK as the Harper’s Wine Star Awards is a buyer-focused competition with all the judges being current customers with purchasing power. It aims to recognise the best wines South Africa and its regions have to offer, with ‘Stars’ awarded for various top scorers.


Harper’s Star of Design South Africa: Survivor Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Easy to spot on shelves with its idiosyncratic label which features a hand drawing of a colorful Nguni, the Survivor Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 enjoyed popular appeal among judges, who commented that this label is: “modern, contemporary, psychedelic, great, unique and very bold”. This feedback was based on the overall appeal, appropriateness, and saleability of the label, and resulted in a total score of 4 Stars – and the Harper’s Star of Design South Africa.

“The wine’s colourful label was designed by Ronel Spies, who had the objective of designing a label which will attract attention on shelves,” said Marketing Manager, Carla Joubert. She added: “Research has shown that consumers base their wine purchasing decision on what’s in the bottle as much as what’s on the bottle. Named the Star of Design South Africa by some of the UK’s most critical buyers, is a sure sign that the Survivor Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys real purchasing appeal among UK wine consumers.”


Harper’s Star of Swartland: Survivor Chenin Blanc 2017

Judges were enamoured by the Survivor Chenin Blanc 2017, who judged the wine blind based on the value for money it represents. The wine elicited a general feeling of disbelief among judges who commented: “Excellent… if priced at the level then great – can’t believe it’s this price on the on-trade,” adding that this wine will enjoy appeal in “all shops, (as well as) hand-sold channels, anywhere – (a) great wine at a great price.”

It also received high praise for its sensory aesthetics with judges commenting on the wine’s “powerful, smoky, earthy and concentrated nose with very sweet, lifted, creamy and long finish, as well as nice citrus complexity.”

It was difficult to fault this wine, and it was scored an overall score of 5 Stars and was also awarded the Star of Swartland, for the best wine from this region.

The Survivor Chenin Blanc is made from grapes sourced from a selection of low-yielding (6 – 7 t/ha) on DB Rust’s farm Constantia, in Swartland. The soils are deep red Oakleaf and Hutton ensuring excellent water-retention and adding structure and fullness to the wine. The vines have been planted in such a way to benefit optimally from the cool Benguela current sea breezes, resulting in milder temperatures and an even ripening period.

“Swartland is a South African wine region which is particularly favoured among international trade, with many wines from this region considered as SA’s best,” said winemaker Ben Snyman. “For our Survivor Chenin Blanc to be judged the best from this region is, therefore, a phenomenal performance, and something we are naturally very proud of,” he added.