What a fascinating and historical year 2018 was for red wines in South Africa. With the exception of only a few wineries, most premium producers released their incredible 2015 wines made from what is generally being regarded as probably the best quality vintage in South Africa’s modern post-apartheid era of winemaking.
Having already released the Fine Wine Safari Top 10 Whites of the Year, I have been overwhelmed with the comments of agreement and support for my selections. But then again, many will argue that the list included a multitude of excellent 2017 vintage wines and that the “white category” still remains South Africa’s strongest talent. While all of this may be true, 2018 saw the release of multiple red wines that pushed quality boundaries like never before. We’ll hand some of that to the vintage conditions of 2015 and 2017 but I’d also like to credit the growing confidence, expertise, knowhow and ambition of winemakers across the South African landscape.
If you are a seasoned veteran of premium South African wines, you will nod knowingly and expectantly at many of my red selections. If you are new to the South African category, perhaps living in the USA, Europe or Asia, make an effort to track these wines down now as many might still be available and all are definitely worth buying, even at their sometimes lofty price points! In my mind, they all represent relative value for money for what they are. Enjoy!
Kanonkop Paul Sauer Red Blend 2015, Stellenbosch – 98+/100 Greg Sherwood MW
Meerlust Rubicon Red Blend 2015, Stellenbosch – 97+/100 Greg Sherwood MW
Vilafonte Series C 2016 Red Blend, Paarl – 97+/100 Greg Sherwood MW
Boekenhoutskloof Journeyman Red Blend 2015, WO Western Cape – 97+/100 GregSherwood MW
Donovan Rall Ava Syrah 2017, Swartland – 97/100 Greg Sherwood MW
Tokara Telos Red Blend 2015, Stellenbosch – 97/100 Greg Sherwood MW
MR de Compostella Red Blend 2016, Stellenbosch – 96+/100 Greg Sherwood MW
Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines Iron Syrah 2016, Swartland – 96+/100 Greg Sherwood MW
Le Riche Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Stellenbosch – 96/100 Greg Sherwood MW
Duncan Savage Red Blend 2015, WO Western Cape – 96/100 Greg Sherwood MW
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone who helped make 2018 such a memorable year! 🍷🎄 🦄
Don’t miss my “Year in Photographs” coming up before New Years Eve 2018.