Tag Archives: best wine

Top 20 SA Wineries: 2018 ranking compared to that of 2005

BACK IN THE DAY, when the first SA Wine & Cellar Classification was published, the top producers were Classified as Boekenhoutskloof, De Toren, De Trafford, Graham Beck, Jordan, Kanonkop, Kanu, Neil Ellis, Rust en Vrede, Rustenberg, Simonsig, Stellenzicht, Thelema, and Vergelegen. Thirteen years later, most of these cellars continue at the forefront of the South African wine industry as regards

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2018 SA Wine Classification includes 20 additions to Hall of Fame

BASED ON THE BEST track records in over 30 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 regularly on top form, their product judged top-notch again and again, year after year. To be eligible for the

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All of the most highly rated South African wines reviewed in 2017

INCLUDING South Africa’s most highly rated wines as reviewed by top judging panels locally and/or internationally in 2017. See HERE for the panels whose reviews counted, or see HERE for all of the top SA wine ratings during the past two years together with details of the accolades. EXCLUDING wines sold only on auction, wines sold only on export markets, wines sold out long

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Top SA Wine Ratings in October 2017 – and ‘best value’ reviews

SHEW! October 2017 has been a month of South Africa’s Veritas Awards and the Six Nations Wine Challenge, the SA Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Competition, the Perold Cape Blend and Pinotage Rosé taste-offs, Winemag’s SA Chardonnay Report and the Ultra Value Wine Challenge. The standout laureates over the past few weeks as follows: Cape West Shiraz Pinotage 2015 (Namaqua) Top

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Franschhoek’s Finest: leading wines from valley’s top cellars in 2017

IF YOU’RE contemplating which Franschhoek wineries to buy from, the following have the best track records in the valley over the past 10 years – full SA Wine & Cellar Classifications here.   ALLÉE BLEUE Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Chenin Blanc L’Amour Toujours (Red Blend) Pinotage BELLINGHAM The Bernard Series Basket Press Syrah The Bernard Series Bush Vine Pinotage The Bernard Series

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Big guns to the fore in countdown to Pinotage Association Top 10

PERHAPS THE most surprising inclusion among the 20 finalists in the run-up to the 2016 Absa Top 10 Pinotage awards is Oupa Bull Reserve 2015. Paarl visitors might have come across the humble farm De Zoete Inval where fifth-generation winemaker John Robert Frater and the team replanted in 2005 and feel that the vines are “now old enough to realise their

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Four Cap Classique houses sparkle at 2016 World Championships

GOLD MEDAL winners at the third Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships in London included two of South Africa’s Cap Classiques: the premium Graham Beck Cuvée Clive 2009 from Robertson and Domaine des Dieux Claudia Brut 2010 from the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge outside Hermanus. All told, there were 149 gold and 143 silver medallists – the Cape’s Le Lude and Wildekrans among

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Leading contenders for SA Wine of the Year – January to June 2016

AT THE TOP of the list when it comes to South Africa’s most successful wines on the show circuit during the first half of 2016 are a variety of beauties, red and white, dry to sweet – see below. Two are from the Delaire Graff ‘resort’ in Banghoek off the Helshoogte Pass, surely on track to become one of the Top

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Stellenbosch cellars dominate at 2016 Red Hot Wine Awards – and yet!

THERE were 59 wines from 46 cellars entered for Winemag.co.za’s 2016 Riscura Red Hot Wine Awards for South Africa’s Bordeaux-Style red blends. As to be expected, perhaps, most of the top scores went the way of Stellenbosch outfits – the exceptions being Diemersdal in Durbanville, Creation on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge between Hermanus and Caledon, and Groot Constantia, whose 2013 Gouverneurs Reserve was judged

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Charity wine auction as much about top brands and objects of desire

OF COURSE, the R15-million raised for various charities thanks to the third AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction – this time at Klein Constantia – was laudable. A worthy cause, for sure: education of the needy in the Cape winelands. But the annual fundraiser also points to hedonistic stuff, highlighting decadent things enjoyed by those fortunate or deserving enough to indulge in the ultimate taste

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Most top SA Cabs from Stellenbosch – with Thelema among the best

WHEN a group of Stellenbosch (and Somerset West) wine producers collaborated to present a line-up of 20 Cabernet Sauvignons to media and industry folk on the occasion of the Cape Wine 2015 trade show, it was to be expected that Thelema would count among the beauties included in a tasting billed as the ‘Kingdom of Cabernet’. The Webb family’s Thelema Mountain

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Bergkelder introduces SA trump cards to premium Fleur du Cap Unfiltered range

FOR YEARS the reputation of Fleur du Cap as a collection of top quality, interesting wines from Distell’s Bergkelder in Stellenbosch was built mainly on the strength of whites in the ‘Unfiltered’ range – such was the consistency that Fleur du Cap Unfiltered soon ranked among South Africa’s top-ranked classified Chardonnays, Semillons, Viogniers and white blends. And it wasn’t long before the

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South Africa’s Best Value Wines at Under R100 a bottle – 18 months to July 2015

FINDING good wine on sale for less than R50 a bottle has become a big ask, and not only in terms of reds. It might be so that there’s far less rubbish being made these days, but at under R50 there’s plenty of plonk, pedestrian and boring stuff as well as simple fruity drinks that are more like cooldrinks than products of the vine.

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Increasing number of top South African wine cellars fetching well over R1000 per bottle

THE LAUNCH of Simonsig’s ‘Garland’ Cabernet and Neil Ellis’s ‘Webb Ellis’ Cabernet Shiraz blend brought the number of Top 100 SA Wine Cellars selling recent releases for over R1000 a ‘pop’ in 2015 to nine – nobody’s dared to seal their iconic wines and luxury stuff with a screwcap, not yet! And no doubt the number will climb further before the

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Nederburg and Orange River wave flag for South Africa at Muscats-du-Monde, France

NEDERBURG Private Bin Eminence Natural Sweet Muscadel 2008 placed among the Top 10 at the 2015 Muscats-du-Monde in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France. The only other South African gold medallist was the 2010 Eminence, and the only other South African wine to earn a medal of any sort in the competition was the Orange River Cellars Red Muscadel 2013, which won

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South African wines popular among royals the world over – plus a president or three

THE WINERY of Good Hope’s featuring Radford Dale Freedom Pinot Noir 2012 among the wines on tables at the Stockholm wedding banquet of Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip, son of Sweden’s King Carl Gustaf, prompted flash-backs to various other occasions prior to this June 2015 event that South African wines have been served to royalty… Graham Beck Brut NV Cap Classique

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La Motte Pierneef Syrah Viognier a collector’s wine in more ways than one

FOLLOWING good reviews for the 2012 vintage, The Pierneef Collection Syrah Viognier from La Motte joined a very select group of beauties in the Top Wine SA Hall of Fame with eight or more vintages to receive very good ratings from top tasting panels locally and/or overseas during the past 10 years. And with a gold medal won at the 2015 Trophy

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Stellenbosch icon Rustenberg showing its pedigree hundreds of years down the line

AS ONE OF the Cape’s ‘First Growths’ with a history of winemaking going back to the 1700s and uninterrupted since 1892, Rustenberg in Ida’s Valley and on the slopes of the Simonsberg in Stellenbosch has not been resting on its laurels. Far from it. The Barlow family stands out as one of South Africa’s Top 20 producers as regards dry reds and whites

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First Growth SA… Some Cape wine estates more deserving of the status than others

PARTICULARLY good reviews for Rustenberg and Groot Constantia on the show circuit in 2015 have revived discussions about the so-called ‘First Growths’ in the winelands of South Africa – First Growths being defined as the areas or wines from those areas regarded as among the very finest of a particular district or region, based on the concept of terroir, which has to

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Elgin shines brightly for SA at Decanter Awards with Paul Cluver scooping three trophies

DEMORGENZON, Elgin Vintners, Lomond, Paul Cluver and Perdeberg were among the International Trophy winners at the 2015 Decanter World Wine Awards – DeMorgenzon (Stellenbosch) with their flagship white blend, Elgin Vintners with their Pinot Noir, Lomond with a Syrah, Paul Cluver (Elgin) with a Riesling for UK retailer Marks & Spencer and Perdeberg (Paarl) with a Chenin from their Dryland Collection. Overall, Paul Cluver was

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