Top 18 wines in Platter’s 2018 guide point to obsession with rankings

95-plus = 5 Stars

99/100 in PLATTER’S 2018

Nederburg Two Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Platter’s Red Wine of the Year
The Foundry Grenache Blanc 2015
Platter’s White Wine of the Year
Klein Constantia Vin de Constance Natural Sweet 2013
Platter’s Unfortified Dessert Wine of the Year
Beaumont Starboard NV  (Port)
Platter’s Fortified Dessert Wine of the Year

98/100 in PLATTER’S 2018

Cederberg Shiraz 2015
Delaire Graff White Reserve 2015 (Blend)
Sadie ’T Voetpad 2016 (White Blend)
Skaliekop Chenin Blanc 2016 (David & Nadia)
Spier CWG Auction Reserve Frans Smit 2013 (Red Blend)

97/100 in PLATTER’S 2018

Bellingham The Bernard Series Small Barrel SMV 2014 (Red Blend)
De Trafford Blueprint Syrah 2015
Duwweltjie Chenin Blanc 2016 (Thistle & Weed)
Eden High Density Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2015 (Raats)
Highlands Road Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2015
Kershaw Syrah 2015
Lingen 2014 (Red Blend, Stark-Condé)
The Stellenbosch Reserve Vanderstel 2015 (Red Blend, Guardian Peak)

96/100 in PLATTER’S 2018

Donkiesbaai Hooiwijn 2016 (Straw Wine, Guardian Peak)


LIKE IT OR NOT, for many wine folk, proclaiming ‘one of the best’ ain’t good enough – including the powers that be in the engine room of Platter’s South African Wine Guide: stopping short of culling their star-rating system, they now also publish a score out of 100. In the 2018 edition, instead of 5 Stars being the top score, reviews of the 111 laureates – ranging from 95 to 99 – distinguish between 18 wines scored 96 points or higher and 93 wines pegged at 95 points… This after a panel-tasting, with the labels out of sight, of all the wines scored 4½ Stars (90 points) or more initially, while their identities were known to the individual critics – a re-assessment that also resulted in 135 wines scored 94 points and ‘Highly Recommended’ in a listing that follows that of the 5 Star recipients.

The 5 Star achievers, chosen from well over 8000 wines from well over 900 producers reviewed in the guide, are all lauded as ‘Cape Classics’ on the basis of quality and interest value. Platter’s ‘ultimate accolade’ went to Raats Family Wines as ‘Winery of the Year’ – deserving praise given the achievements of Bruwer Raats and his cousin Gavin Bruwer Slabbert who head up the team that scooped eight 5 Star awards, even though the savvy duo don’t have their own winery, choosing to rather rent whatever cellar space they need. However, the awards for Red Wine of the Year, White Wine of the Year and Dessert Wines of the Year went to other producers, and the policy regarding the top prize is to reward the most prolific goal scorer… No doubt there is mounting pressure on publisher and editor to reconsider the criteria for the title of numero uno each year – perhaps opening the door to producers who focus on one or two gems rather than a large basket of goodies.

For the names of ALL the 5 Star winners, the names of Platter’s tasters and more about the guide, see here. All the prices of the top-rated SA wines over the past two years here.


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