2017 SA Wine & Cellar Classifications confirm who’s (still) on top form

BASED ON THE BEST track records in 28 local and international forums for the assessment of wine quality and interest value over the past 10 years, the South African Wine & Cellar Classifications celebrate the country’s leading outfits – those who are regularly on top form, their product judged top-notch again and again, year after year.

To be eligible for the Classification, updated annually since 2004, wines of the Cape must have earned very good to excellent reviews from at least one of the top judging panels for at least three vintages during the 10-year period under review – between 2007 and 2016 (inclusive) for the 2017 Classification. The critics include experts appointed for the Decanter World Wine Awards (UK), the International Wine Challenge (UK) and IWSC (UK), the Michelangelo awards (SA), Platter’s SA Wine Guide (5 Stars and Highly Recommended), the Six Nations Challenge (AU), the Trophy Wine Show (SA) and the Veritas Awards (SA) – to mention just some of the panels – and it is the number of top-rated vintages as well as the type of accolades that determine Top 10 and Top 20 status among South Africa’s most fancied wines in terms of the Classification.

Newcomers and resurgent champions in the Top Wine SA Hall of Fame – showcasing wines that have received very good ratings for at least eight releases/vintages during the past 10 years – include Ataraxia Chardonnay, Cloof The Very Sexy Shiraz, De Grendel Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc and De Grendel Shiraz, Eagles’ Nest Shiraz, Flagstone Dark Horse Shiraz, Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Chardonnay, Groot Constantia Chardonnay, Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Shiraz, Nederburg Ingenuity (White Blend), Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Pinot Noir, Oak Valley Chardonnay, Rijk’s Reserve Pinotage, Stellenrust Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc, Tokara Reserve Collection Elgin Sauvignon Blanc and Warwick Trilogy (Red Blend).

And among those producers joining or returning to the ranks of the Top 20 South African wineries in the 2017 SA Cellar Classification are Eagles’ Nest, Groot Constantia and Klein Constantia of the Cape Peninsula as well as La Motte of Franschhoek.

For the full 2017 SA Wine & Cellar Classifications click here – also available via email on request to mike@topwinesa.com. Highlights given below – where there are more than 10 wines included in the Top 10 Classifications there was a tie for 10th place.

 

MOST SUCCESSFUL SA WHITE WINES – 2007 TO 2016

Top 10 SA Chardonnay

Chamonix Reserve
Groot Constantia
Hamilton Russell
Jordan Barrel Fermented
Jordan Nine Yards
Mulderbosch Barrel Fermented
Oak Valley
Paul Cluver Estate
Rustenberg Five Soldiers
Tokara Reserve Collection Stellenbosch

Top 10 SA Chenin Blanc

Beaumont Hope Marguerite
Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine
Botanica
DeMorgenzon Reserve
Kanu KCB
Ken Forrester The FMC
Kleine Zalze Cellar Selection Bush Vines
Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection
Spier 21 Gables
Stellenrust Barrel Fermented

Top 10 SA Sauvignon Blanc

Cape Point
Cederberg
David Nieuwoudt Ghost Corner
De Grendel Koetshuis
Diemersdal Eight Rows
Diemersdal MM Louw
Graham Beck Pheasants’ Run
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sur Lie
Nederburg Private Bin D234
Tokara Reserve Collection Elgin

Top 10 SA White Blends

Cape Point Isliedh
Flagstone Treaty Tree
Miles Mossop Saskia
Nederburg Ingenuity
Nitida Coronata Integration
Sadie Palladius
Spier Creative Block 2
Tokara Director’s Reserve
Vergelegen G.V.B
Vondeling Babiana

 

MOST SUCCESSFUL SA RED WINES – 2007 TO 2016

Top 10 SA Cabernet Sauvignon

Boekenhoutskloof
Cederberg Five Generations
Fleur du Cap Unfiltered
Guardian Peak Lapa
Kanonkop
Le Riche Reserve
Nederburg Private Bin R163
Rustenberg Peter Barlow
Stark-Condé Three Pines
Thelema
Waterford

Top 10 SA Merlot

Anura Reserve
De Grendel
Dieu Donné
Eikendal
Fleur du Cap Unfiltered
Hartenberg
La Petite Ferme
Laibach Claypot
Longridge
Shannon Mount Bullet
Whalehaven

Top 10 SA Pinot Noir

Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak
Bouchard Finlayson Tête de Cuvée
Chamonix Reserve
Crystallum Cuvée Cinéma
Hamilton Russell
Meerlust
Newton Johnson Family Vineyards
Oak Valley
Paul Cluver Seven Flags
Sumaridge

Top 10 Pinotage

Beyerskloof Diesel
Diemersfontein Carpe Diem
Flagstone Writer’s Block
Kanonkop
KWV The Mentors
Rijk’s Private Cellar
Rijk’s Reserve
Simonsig Redhill
Wildekrans Barrel Select Reserve
Windmeul Reserve

Top 10 SA Shiraz/Syrah

Boekenhoutskloof Syrah
Bon Courage Inkará
Cederberg
De Grendel
Eagles’ Nest
Hartenberg The Stork
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve
Rustenberg Buzzard Kloof Syrah
Saronsberg
Simonsig Merindol Syrah

Top 10 SA Red Blends

Eikendal Classique
Ernie Els Signature
Jordan Cobblers Hill
Kaapzicht Steytler Vision
Kanonkop Paul Sauer
La Motte Pierneef Collection Syrah Viognier
Morgenster
Sadie Columella
Saronsberg Full Circle
Tokara Director’s Reserve

 

MOST SUCCESSFUL SA SPARKLING WINES – 2007 TO 2016

Top 10 Cap Classique

Bon Courage Jacques Bruére Blanc de Blancs
Bon Courage Jacques Bruére Brut Reserve
Desiderius Pongrácz
Graham Beck Brut Blanc de Blancs
JC Le Roux Scintilla
Laborie Blanc de Blancs
Simonsig Cuvée Royale Blanc de Blancs
Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut
Villiera Monro Brut
Villiera Woolworths Vintage Reserve Brut

 

MOST SUCCESSFUL SA SWEET WINES – 2007 TO 2016

Top 10 SA Unfortified Dessert

Delheim Edelspatz Noble Late Harvest
Fairview La Beryl Blanc
Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest
Klein Constantia Vin de Constance Natural Sweet
Mullineux Straw Wine
Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur Chenin Blanc Noble Late Harvest
Nederburg Private Bin Eminence Noble Late Harvest Muscadel
Nederburg Winemasters Noble Late Harvest
Neethlingshof Maria Noble Late Harvest
Paul Cluver Riesling Noble Late Harvest

Top 10 SA Fortified Dessert

Badsberg Red Muscadel
Bon Courage Red Muscadel
Bon Courage White Muscadel
Du Toitskloof Hanepoot Jerepigo
KWV White Muscadel Jerepigo
Nuy Red Muscadel
Nuy White Muscadel
Orange River Cellars Red Muscadel
Orange River Cellars White Muscadel
Rooiberg Red Muscadel
Slanghoek Red Muscadel

Top 10 Cape Ports

Axe Hill Cape Vintage
Boplaas Cape Tawny NV
Boplaas Cape Vintage
Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve
De Krans Cape Tawny NV
De Krans Cape Vintage
De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve
Delaire Graff Cape Vintage
KWV Cape Tawny NV
Landskroon Cape Vintage

 

EIGHT OR MORE TOP-RATED VINTAGES – 2007 TO 2016

Top Wine SA Hall of Fame

Ataraxia Chardonnay
Beaumont Hope Marguerite (Chenin)
Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage
Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve
Boekenhoutskloof Cabernet Sauvignon
Boekenhoutskloof Syrah
Bon Courage Inkará Shiraz
Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve (Port)
Cape Point Isliedh (White Blend)
Cederberg Five Generations Cabernet Sauvignon
Cederberg Sauvignon Blanc
Cederberg Shiraz
Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve
Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve
Cloof The Very Sexy Shiraz
David Nieuwoudt Ghost Corner Sauvignon Blanc (Cederberg Cellar)
De Grendel Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc
De Grendel Shiraz
De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve (Port)
Diemersdal Eight Rows Sauvignon Blanc
Diemersfontein Carpe Diem Pinotage
Eagles’ Nest Shiraz
Ernie Els Signature (Red Blend)
Fairview La Beryl Blanc (Straw Wine)
Flagstone Dark Horse Shiraz
Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest (Bergkelder)
Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon (Bergkelder)
Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Chardonnay (Bergkelder)
Graham Beck Pheasants’ Run Sauvignon Blanc
Groot Constantia Chardonnay
Guardian Peak Lapa Cabernet Sauvignon
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay
Hartenberg The Stork Shiraz
Jordan Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay
Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon
Kanonkop Paul Sauer (Red Blend)
Kanonkop Pinotage
Kanu KCB Chenin Blanc
Ken Forrester The FMC Chenin Blanc
Klein Constantia Vin de Constance Natural Sweet
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Shiraz
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sur Lie Sauvignon Blanc
La Motte Pierneef Collection Syrah Viognier
Miles Mossop Saskia (White Blend)
Morgenster Reserve (Red Blend)
Mulderbosch Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
Nederburg Ingenuity White Blend (White Blend)
Nederburg Private Bin D234 Sauvignon Blanc
Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur Chenin Blanc Noble Late Harvest
Nederburg Private Bin Eminence Noble Late Harvest Muscadel
Nederburg Private Bin R163 Cabernet Sauvignon
Nederburg Winemasters Noble Late Harvest
Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Pinot Noir
Nitida Coronata Integration (White Blend)
Oak Valley Chardonnay
Paul Cluver Estate Chardonnay
Paul Cluver Riesling Noble Late Harvest
Raats Family Cabernet Franc
Raka Biography Shiraz
Rijk’s Private Cellar Pinotage
Rijk’s Reserve Pinotage
Rust en Vrede Estate (Red Blend)
Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay
Sadie Columella (Red Blend)
Sadie Palladius (White Blend)
Saronsberg Full Circle (Red Blend)
Saronsberg Shiraz
Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut (MCC)
Simonsig Redhill Pinotage
Stark-Condé Three Pines Cabernet Sauvignon
Stellenrust Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc
Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon
Tokara Director’s Reserve Red
Tokara Director’s Reserve White
Tokara Reserve Collection Elgin Sauvignon Blanc
Tokara Reserve Collection Stellenbosch Chardonnay
Uva Mira The Single Tree Chardonnay
Vergelegen G.V.B White
Warwick Trilogy (Red Blend)
Waterford Cabernet Sauvignon
Windmeul Reserve Pinotage

 

MOST SUCCESSFUL SA WINE CELLARS – 2007 TO 2016

Top 20 SA Wineries

Boekenhoutskloof
Cape Point Vineyards
Cederberg Private Cellar
Chamonix
Eagles’ Nest
Fleur Du Cap (Bergkelder)
Groot Constantia Estate
Hamilton Russell Vineyards
Jordan Wine Estate
Kanonkop Wine Estate
Klein Constantia
Kleine Zalze
La Motte
Nederburg
Paul Cluver Wines
Rustenberg Wines
Saronsberg
Simonsig Wine Estate
Tokara
Vergelegen

 

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