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Tim Atkin MW South Africa Report 2018

We are delighted to once again feature good friend and hugely respected journalist Tim Atkin MW's annual report on South African wine. Tim spends two months tasting and researching the wines and wineries and this incredibly thorough report features the traditional wineries to the funky 'garagiste' operations with equal measure. Despite the fact that South Africa as a country is largely in turmoil, severe drought, political uncertainty, weak currency etc the wine business continues at a pace. I genuinely think there is no more exciting country for wine than South Africa at present. Not saying it's the best, but just from big production fantastic value Chenin Blanc through to complex oak aged old vine blends, their is a fabulous freshness and energy to many of the wines and the people making them. Prices are beginning to creep, whilst their is still incredible value some of the more in demand wines are becoming quite expensive, hopefully this trend will not continue and the wines can still offer value at the various price points. Many more wines will be added in the coming weeks.

Anthonij Rupert Cape of Good Hope 'Van Lill & Visser' Chenin Blanc 2017

South Africa

"You can’t really go wrong combining grapes from Basie van Lill and Joshua Visser, two of best growers in the Cape. This amazing, lightly oaked Chenin has the focus and vivacity that are features of many other great wines. Energetic, saline and sappy with lingering palate length. 2019-27" 95 pts Wines of The Year Tim Atkin South Africa 2018 Special Report

Retail price £22.49 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £123.00 (£20.50 per bottle)

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Beaumont 'Hope Marguerite' Chenin Blanc 2017

South Africa

"Year in year out, this is one of the best and most complex Chenins in South Africa. Made from very small berries (but with no botrytis) in 2017, it’s a leesy, naturally fermented delight showing old vine concentration and remarkable palate length. 2019-27" 95 pts Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2018 Special Report
Wines of The Year

Retail price £26.99 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £147.00 (£24.50 per bottle)

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Boschkloof 'Epilogue' Syrah 2016

South Africa

“I’m making this for Syrah fanatics”, says Reenen Borman. Lucky them is all I can say, because this is another stunning release from a brilliant young winemaker. Intense, granitic and spicy, with lovely lavender and garrigue aromas, layers of dark, inky fruit, stylish oak and amazing length. What more do you want from a Syrah? 2020-30" 98 points and Tim Atkin MW South Africa Special Report 2018
Wines of The Year

Retail price £49.95 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £270.00 (£45.00 per bottle)

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Constantia Glen 'Two' 2017

South Africa

One of Tim Atkin's Wines of The Year
"As it was last year, Two is my pick of the Constantia Glen wines, made from a duo of Sauvignon Blanc with 32% Semillon. Waxy, floral and focused, it has green herb and cut grass notes, sappy acidity, a hint of stony reduction and classy oak. 2018-23" 95pts Tim Atkin South Africa 2018 Special Report

Retail price £21.49 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £117.00 (£19.50 per bottle)

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Crystallum 'Bona Fide' Pinot Noir 2017

South Africa

"Bona Fide is made entirely with the 777 Dijon clone and comes from the outstanding Vrede vineyard. Low yields, 60% whole bunches and the presence of clay in the soils has produced a rich, dense, savoury Pinot with spice and black cherry notes and the potential to age. 2020-27" 96 pts Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2018 Special Report
Wines of The Year

Retail price £38.99 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £211.00 (£35.17 per bottle)

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Crystallum 'Cuvée Cinema' Pinot Noir 2017

South Africa

One of Tim Atkin's Wines of The Year
"Made with fruit from a remarkable, high-density vineyard on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, this is a supremely elegant, nuanced expression of Pinot Noir, with pot pourri and rose petal scents, some pepper spice from 50% stems and a focused, refreshing finish. Brilliant winemaking. 2019-25" 95 pts Tim Atkin South Africa Special Report 2018

Retail price £37.99 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £206.00 (£34.33 per bottle)

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DeMorgenzon 'Divas' Chenin Blanc 2017

South Africa

South Africa 2018 Special Report Wines of The Year

"I almost had to beg Carl van der Merwe to show me a barrel sample of this incredible wine, as it won’t be bottled for a while and there’s not much of it. I’m glad I did, though, because the second vintage of Divas that is even better than the first remarkable release. It comes from a 1972 vineyard and is just a six-barrel lot. Rich, dense yet remarkably elegant, with focus and minerality and a finish that lasts for a minute. 2020-32" 98 pts Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2018 Special Report Wines of The Year

Retail price £97.00 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 2 Case Price: £179.00 (£89.50 per bottle)

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DeMorgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc 2017

South Africa

One of Tim Atkin's Wines of The Year
"The wine that has made DeMorgenzon’s modern reputation under Carl van der Merwe, this 23,000-bottle blend really shows the intensity of the 2017 vintage. Apple and pear fruit are framed by scented oak and supported by a steely finish. A consistently impressive white. 2019-25" 95pts Tim Atkin South Africa 2018 Special Report
Wines of The Year

Retail price £28.99 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £157.00 (£26.17 per bottle)

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Gabrielskloof The Landscape Series Cabernet Franc 2016

South Africa

"For the second year running, this remarkable Cabernet Franc has triumphed in my tastings. There’s no sign of the greater heat of the vintage here, just freshness, poise, silky tannnins, black cherry and graphite notes and beautifully handled oak. A thrilling Cabernet Franc of great precision and palate length. 2019-26" 95 pts Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2018 Special Report
Wines of The Year

Retail price £31.99 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £174.00 (£29.00 per bottle)

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Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2017

South Africa

"The 2017 vintage really is a brilliant year for Cape whites, as this stellar, world famous Chardonnay confirms. Tighter and more focused than the 2016, it has notes of beeswax, citrus and tangerine, embellished by aromatic oak. The best release yet of Hamilton Russell Chardonnay. 2019-25" 97 pts Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2018 Special Report

Retail price £29.49 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £160.00 (£26.67 per bottle)

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Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir 2017

South Africa

"Continuing the subtle changes that have occurred under Emul Ross, the Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir is now a worthy stable mate for the estate’s Chardonnay. This shows the acidity of the 2017 vintage, with a fine perfume of wild strawberry and dried mushroom, subtle wood and a dense, complex, savoury finish. 2019-27" 95pts Tim Atkin MW South Africa Special Report 2018

Retail price £34.99 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £189.00 (£31.50 per bottle)

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Kaapzicht 'The 1947' Chenin Blanc 2017

South Africa

One of Tim Atkin's Wines of The Year
"Only 900 bottles of this remarkable Chenin are produced, alas, so fight to get hold of one. It’s a bush vine white of considerable complexity, with spicy, honeyed flavours, a hint of tangerine and a focused, palate-cleansing, mineral-etched finish. Old vine concentration at its best. 2019-27" 95pts Tim Atkin South Africa 2018 Special Report

Retail price £44.95 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £243.00 (£40.50 per bottle)

Kanonkop 'Black Label' Pinotage 2016

South Africa

"One four-hectare block, planted in 1953, supplies the grapes for this world class Pinotage, first made on 2006. Picked early in 2016, it’s opaque, rich and very serious, a wine that almost supersedes its variety. Layered, complex and built for a long life, with lots of tannin, violet and blueberry fruit and well-integrated new oak. 2022-30" 96pts Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2018 Special Report Wines of The Year

Retail price £136.95 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £739.00 (£123.17 per bottle)

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Miles Mossop 'Saskia' 2015 Due November

South Africa

"Saskia is made with fruit from Stellenbosch and the Voor Paardeberg and marries mostly Chenin Blanc with Viognier and Clairette Blanche. Floral, rich and very mineral with pear, citrus and peach flavours and the focus and extract to age. 2018-23" 95 pts Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2018 Special Report Wines of The Year

Retail price £19.95 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £108.00 (£18.00 per bottle)

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Mullineaux Granite Chenin Blanc 2017

South Africa


"First made in 2013, Granite has established itself as one of the best Chenins in the Cape, especially so in a vintage like 2017. Focused, floral and intense, with incredible grip and precision, creamy lees, stylish oak and good length. 2020-27"
96 pts Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2018 Special Report
Wines of The Year

Retail price £52.99 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £286.00 (£47.67 per bottle)

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Naudé White Blend 2007

South Africa

"Bottled under screwcap - which may explain why it has aged so well - this remarkably inexpensive blend of mostly Chenin Blanc with Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc comes from 11 different vineyards. Gloriously mature, it’s tangy, toasty and very complex with notes of lanolin and honeysuckle and remarkable freshness. 2018-22" 95pts Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2018 Special Report Winers of The Year

Retail price £22.50 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £122.00 (£20.33 per bottle)

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Patatsfontein Steen (Chenin Blanc) 2017

South Africa

"These 34-year-old vineyards are located at 560 metres and produce a remarkable Chenin Blanc from a little known wine region. Stony, fresh and bone dry, it’s sappy and dense, with notes of honey, fresh bread and citrus fruit. 2018-23" 95 pts Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2018 Special Report
Wines of The Year

Retail price £29.95 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £162.00 (£27.00 per bottle)

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Paul Cluver 'Seven Flags' Chardonnay 2017

South Africa

"Burgundian Martin Prieur consults on this world class Chardonnay, aged in one third new oak and combining laser-like acidity with aromatic oak, savoury undertones, lovely weight and remarkable precision and palate length. Brilliant winemaking. 2019-25" 95 pts Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2018 Special Report
Wines of The Year

Retail price £44.99 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £243.00 (£40.50 per bottle)

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Porseleinberg Syrah 2016

South Africa

Tasting Notes & Technical Sheet

On the back of the driest winter in decades a very small crop of 2-3t/ha was the result. The growing season was warm and dry, putting more pressure on the moisture levels of the soils. The small crop was clean and ripened very quickly.

Harvest started early, end Jan, and was done by mid Feb. Grapes were hand-picked and transferred to concrete tanks whole bunch. The bunches were foot stomped where after natural fermentation took place.

During the ferment 2 pump overs were given per day until the fermentation was complete. Maturation took place over 12 months in 70% wood(foudre) & 30% concrete egg. Bottling was done early March 2017.

Analysis:

Alc. 14% R.S. 2g/l ph 3.9 T.A. 5g/l

Ripest vintage thus far. Showing more dark and black fruit. The normal pure edgy tannin seems a bit more relaxed. Very good mid palate weight with more fruit than spice. Long sweet fruited finish.

Very good indication of the growing conditions and the vintage which will definitely evolve very well with time in bottle.

Retail price £67.99 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £354.00 (£59.00 per bottle)
Buy now Case Qty: 3 Case Price: £186.00 (£62.00 per bottle)
Buy now Case Qty: 1 Case Price: £66.00 (£66.00 per bottle)

Rall 'Ava' Chenin Blanc 2016

South Africa

Tim Atkin's 'White Wine Discovery of The Year" NOTE 2017 report.
"What a brilliant début. Sourced from 20-year-old bush vines on schist soils, it manages to be hugely concentrated without excessive alcohol. Savoury, saline and chiselled on the palate, like licking a stone. Lightly honeyed, with some tarte tatin notes, this is remarkably long and vivacious. 2018-26 97 points" Tim Atkin South Africa 2017 Special Report

Retail price £43.75 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £235.00 (£39.17 per bottle)

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Rall 'Ava' Syrah 2017

South Africa

"The 2017 AVA Syrah comes from 2.4 hectares of schist soils that only produced 1,000 bottles because of the drought. It includes around 50% or 60% whole bunch. Deep in colour, it has quite a high-toned bouquet, very floral with iodine, hints of cassis, white pepper and clove. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannin, black fruit, clove and white pepper. This has an almost Cornas-like personality, a little masculine with more black pepper toward the finish. Stunning. " 94 pts Neal Martin, Vinous Aug 2018

Retail price £47.95 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 2 Case Price: £88.00 (£44.00 per bottle)

Rall Cinsault 2017

South Africa

"The 2015 and 2016 releases were both from Darling, but the 2017 adds fruit from Swartland, brining another dimension to the wine. Whole bunch fermented and aged in old wood, it’s a deceptively forward wine with summer berry, white pepper and rose petal intensity and underlying tannins. 2019-25" 95 pts Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2018 Special Report
Wines of The Year

"The 2017 Cinsault comes from Darling and Swartland (it was previously just the former) from vines planted around 38 years ago. It is 100% whole bunch with a very quick ferment, pressed off after a week. It has a very pure bouquet of black currant, raspberry and cranberry scents that displays a very Burgundian-like personality. The palate is medium-bodied with fine structure, quite saline on the entry, and offers slightly darker fruit than its peers. I love the sapid nature of this wine and the focus and grip on the finish. This is an outstanding Cinsault, one of the best I have come across during my tastings. " 94 pts Neal Martin, Vinous Aug 2018

Retail price £25.49 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £132.00 (£22.00 per bottle)

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Rall Cinsault Blanc 2017

South Africa

"The 2017 Cinsault Blanc comes from a 0.2-hectare single vineyard of 35-year-old vines in Wellington that underwent a mutation, possibly in the 1930s, from Cinsault Gris and then Cinsault Blanc. It had been previously used for brandy production. It has a beautiful bouquet of yellow plum and almond scents, wonderfully defined and pure. The palate is very well balanced with crisp acidity, quite taut and linear, and fairly neutral in style, displaying a touch of lemongrass on the finish. Maybe the palate does not quite reach the heady heights of the nose, but this remains a delicious and unique wine." 91 pts Neal Martin, Vinous Aug 2018

Retail price £25.49 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £132.00 (£22.00 per bottle)

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Rall Grenache Blanc 2017

South Africa

"The 2017 Grenache Blanc comes from a 0.5-hectare parcel of ungrafted vines and was matured in two concrete eggs and one amphora. It is very well defined on the nose, featuring scents of white flowers, cold granite and hints of lemon curd. The palate is very well defined, with veins of lemongrass on the entry. It is beguiling in terms of harmony and comes packed full of flavour, offering ginger and dried orange peel toward the waxy-textured finish. You can imagine half of New York’s sommeliers going ga-ga for this, and rightly so, because it is simply a delicious South African white. " 94 pts Neal Martin Vinous Aug 2018

Retail price £25.49 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £132.00 (£22.00 per bottle)

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Stellenrust Chenin Blanc 2018

South Africa

Tim Atkin South Africa 2018 Special Report
Best Value White Wine of The Year
"Incredible value at only R60 a bottle, this wild yeast-fermented, unwooded Chenin is all from unirrigated vineyards. Appley, zesty and balanced with a savoury undertone and palatecleansing acidity. 2019-21"
Sadly not available in Rand!

Retail price £10.75 Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Case Price: £59.50 (£9.92 per bottle)

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Winelist last updated: 17/10/2018 22:33:54

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