Platter’s Top 10 SA wines over the past 10 years include four white blends, two reds, two desserts and two ports

PLATTER’S South African Wine Guide is not without its shortcomings, but after 35 years it still holds plenty of sway among those who are partial to the liquid pleasures of this country and give a damn about what’s in their glass. Published as it is towards the end of every year, it’s the last major assessment of SA wine quality and style on the calendar and, despite the publisher and editor being outspoken about not running a competition, the top accolades from their team of experienced tasters are hotly contested – highly regarded as much if not more so by status-conscious producers as by consumers looking for reassurance at the supermarket or local bottle store.
Flagstone Treaty Tree bottle cropped 3 - jpeg

GOING, GOING, GONE Rated 5 Stars, selling for R92 pb at the cellar door, the white blend Flagstone Treaty Tree 2013 was on special at just R59 pb from GetWine.co.za

Top awards in the 2015 edition go to The Sadie Family (Winery of the Year), De Trafford (Red Wine of the Year award for their Blueprint Syrah 2012) and DeMorgenzon (White Wine of the Year award for their Reserve Chardonnay 2013). Platter’s ‘Superquaffer’ (exceptionally well priced) awards have been ditched, but the contenders would have included the 2013 Windmeul Chenin Blanc Reserve at R47 per bottle among the ‘Highly Recommended’ white wines. Lowest priced wine among the Highly Recommended reds is Groote Post Shiraz 2013 at R105 pb, and fortified dessert wines remain great value with the 5 Star Nuy White Muscadel 2013 priced at R45 a bottle.

All of Platter’s latest 5 Star ratings are listed here, with the prices of these as well as the Highly Recommended 4½ Star laureates given here together with the names and prices of all other SA wines to have received very good to excellent ratings from one of the top tasting panels locally or internationally in 2014. Besides The Sadie Family, the biggest winners/most successful producers in Platter’s 2015 edition are Buitenverwachting, Cederberg, Chamonix, Hartenberg, Miles Mossop, Mullineux & Leeu, Nederburg, Newton Johnson and Vergelegen – no surprises, all included in the 2015 SA Cellar Classification.

As touched on again recently by the Wade Bales Wine Society, tasting and rating is not a perfect science. However, there’s much value in the opinions of up to 20 experts collectively assessing over 7000 wines by way of sighted tastings and then recommending their absolute favourites to be included in a final round of blind-tastings where consensus is sought as to the best of the best. Over the past 10 years Platter’s judges have deemed 426 wines worthy of 5 Star ratings for the book, and the names of the most regular recipients make for an interesting line-up when contemplating top-gun credentials in the various categories:

FIVE OR MORE 5 STAR RATINGS IN PLATTER’S SA WINE GUIDE: 2005 – 2014


PRODUCERS

Bergkelder / Fleur du Cap – Papegaaiberg, Stellenbosch
Boekenhoutskloof – Franschhoek
Boplaas Family Vineyards (Port) – Calitzdorp, Klein Karoo
Cape Point Vineyards – Noordhoek, Cape Peninsula
Cederberg Private Cellar – Cederberg
Chamonix – Franschhoek
De Krans Wine Cellar (Port) – Calitzdorp, Klein Karoo
De Trafford Winery – Helderberg, Stellenbosch
DeMorgenzon – StellenboschKloof
Fable Mountain Vineyards – Tulbagh
Fairview – Paarl
Flagstone Winery – Somerset West
Graham Beck Wines – Robertson
Hartenberg Estate – Bottelary Hills, Stellenbosch
Jordan Wine Estate – StellenboschKloof
Kanonkop Estate – Simonsberg, Stellenbosch
Ken Forrester Vineyards – Helderberg, Stellenbosch
Klein Constantia Estate – Constantia, Cape Peninsula
Kleine Zalze – Stellenbosch
Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines – Riebeek-Kasteel, Swartland
Nederburg Wines – Paarl
Newton Johnson Family Vineyards – Hemel-en-Aarde, Hermanus
Sadie Family Wines – Malmesbury, Swartland
Steenberg Vineyards – Tokai, Cape Peninsula
Tokara – Simonsberg, Stellenbosch
Vergelegen Estate – Somerset West

WINES

Boekenhoutskloof Cabernet Sauvignon (Red)
Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve (Port)
Cape Point Isliedh (White Blend)
De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve (Port)
Fleur du Cap Bergkelder Selection Noble Late Harvest (Unfortified Dessert)
Mullineux Straw Wine (Unfortified Dessert)
Nederburg Ingenuity (White Blend)
Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Pinot Noir (Red)
Sadie Palladius (White Blend)
Tokara Director’s Reserve (White Blend)