just finished lunch with two of the world’s leading wine writers who visited La Motte as part of their tour of the SA Winelands. I am very interested to hear what Oz Clarke and Tim Atkin think of the quality of SA wine after their intense wine tasting schedule here.
While we are waiting to hear their thoughts, I had a look at the quality perception of South African wine in the past year. Wine Competitions and Reviews have always been a contentious matter – just think about the debate on social media platforms re the credibility of the Platter Wine Guide when the 2013 edition was released recently!
Lets look at what international wine writers and judges had to say about South African wine during the course of 2012:
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator`s lead taster on South African wines: “Since my last report on the wines of South Africa, I have reviewed more than 475 wines, nearly one-quarter of them earning outstanding ratings of 90 points or higher on the Wine Spectator 100-point scale. That marks an improvement over the previous year`s performance, once again pushing the quality bar higher for Cape wines. And as a rising tide lifts all boats, another 250 wines earned very good scores of 85 to 89 points.”
Matthew Jukes, acclaimed UK wine journalist : “My opinion, thanks to an epiphanic trip in June, has completely changed. Like Spain, it seems that the South Africans keep many of their finest wines for themselves (the sneaky blighters)!”
Tom Cannavan, Scottish wine blogger, UK wine broadcaster and Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show judge: “In all there was plenty of evidence here that the country’s more conscientious winemakers continue to refine both their wine making and their vision for what each variety is capable of, and what each terroir has the potential to say about South African wine.”
http://winemag.co.za/marthelize-tredoux-on-sa-wines-aversion-to-change/Neal Martin, wine reviewer for Parker’s bimonthly publication The Wine Advocate: “South African wines didn’t feature much in the Advocate until now because Parker simply couldn’t dedicate the time but there’s a realisation that they’ve improved radically over the past 10 years. Frankly, I fulfil a gate-keeper role. I have a sense that for every great South African producer, somebody else is churning out sub-standard product”.
Sue van Wyk CWM from Australia and technical director for the Michelangelo International Wine Awards: “Generally the entries were of a very high standard and the top-scoring wines are of world class quality.’
South Africa’s Veritas Wine Award obtained the services of quite a few international judges:
- Richard Rowes, international winemaker and wine judge: “This year the Shiraz class put forward very strong entries,” he says. “We were impressed by clean, fresh varietal wines that showed balance, structure and finesse.”
- Lim Hwee Peng, a certified wine specialist from Singapore who was recently honoured as the Most Dynamic Wine Educator in Asia: “While the Cap Classique’s were excellent, we found quite a few normal sparkling wines that were of a really high quality.”
- Janåke Johansson, owner of a leading Swedish Family Import Business responsible for top volume brands for more than 20 years and a veritable wine judge: “We were impressed by a great number of excellent wines, confirming my belief that South African Cabernet Sauvignons are of world class standard.”