What a great year of fine wine it has been yet again. I am so fortunate to be in a position allowing me to taste not only the greatest wines of the world on a regular basis here in London as well as on my extensive travels, but also taste the finest wines produced in South Africa on a regular basis while always trying to retain a very measured, objective outlook in terms of where South Africa’s greatest wines really fit into the pecking order of international fine wine.
For my white top 10 selection, I have not merely selected my highest scoring wines of the year as that would be far too predictable, but I have instead chosen wines that I found not only outstanding in quality terms but also memorable, characterful and thrilling to drink.
I’d also like to offer a special thanks to all the producers, many of them close friends, that have offered me their time for my regular visits, tastings and importantly, lots of joyous eating and drinking together. Your hospitality and friendship is never taken for granted and greatly appreciated and treasured.
Happy New Year 2019. I truly believe 2020 is going to be another exceptional year of success for South African wine.
Top 10 Whites (in no particular order):
Restless River Ava Marie Chardonnay 2017 – 96+/100 GSMW
Sakkie Mouton Revenge of the Crayfish Chenin Blanc 2018 – 96/100 GSMW
Alheit Family Huilkrans Chenin Blanc 2018 – 97/100 GSMW
Cape Winemakers Guild Leeu Passant Radicales Libres Chardonnay 2014 – 97+/100 GSMW
David & Nadia Plat’Bos Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2018 – 96/100 GSMW
Sadie Family OVS ‘T Voetpad White Blend 2018 – 97/100 GSMW
Sadie Family OVS Skurfberg Chenin Blanc 2018 – 97+/100 GSMW
Catherine Marshall Chenin Blanc Fermented in Clay 2017 – 95/100 GSMW
Kershaw Deconstructed Bokkeveld Shales Chardonnay 2017 CY548 – 96+/100 GSMW
(Picture courtesy of Keith Prothero)
Lismore Estate Reserve Viognier 2017 – 96+/100 GSMW
The Top 10 South African Reds of 2019 will follow soon!