Tim Atkin MW: "South African wines are among the top in the world"10-09-2022
10th edition praises wines from South Africa
Tim Atkin released his tenth South Africa report yesterday with the Chenin Blanc and Stellenbosch wines doing particularly well. Atkin believes that the 2021 vintage so far could easily be one of the best vintages in the Cape.
Atkin says he was surprised by the quality of what he tasted in 2022; the 2017 and 2021 vintages were particularly impressive. Atkin: "I am more convinced than ever that 2017 deserves its place among the best Cape vintages ever. I think the quality is just as good, and in some cases even better than 2015. However, I feel that the year 2021 can match and possibly even exceed this''.
Atkin is amazed at the remarkable progress the country has made since his first report in 2013. He therefore tells producers to be proud of South African wines. This is because 8.5% of the 2,282 wines tasted, from 433 different wineries, achieved a score of no less than 95 or higher. For many of the products, being on this list is an achievement for the first time.
Says Atkin, "South Africans are resilient, but I was amazed at the way the wine sector has bounced back after the amount of adversity caused by the pandemic. Producers are still pushing boundaries in viticulture in locations such as Sutherland, Stanford, the Koo Plateau and the Agulhas Triangle. In addition, these producers grow homegrown grapes with fidelity and precision, which is reflected throughout the Western Cape."
Notable categories among the best scoring wines this year are not only Chenin Blanc and Shiraz/Syrah as in the more recent past, but also Bordeaux blends, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Atkin: "South Africa has proven that she can make almost any style of wine well, while many of her wines are already among the absolute best. There is also a very interesting new dynamic. The number of winemakers from a younger generation is increasing, spurring the already established producers to innovate''. All in all, these developments suggest that South Africa remains one of the most exciting wine-producing countries, with a lot of potential yet to be unveiled.
Atkin notes that there is a strong commitment to addressing climate change such as initiatives for using new rootstocks, to new ways of covering crops and plowing techniques. There is also an increased focus on grape varieties that are more drought resistant, from Assyrtiko to Vermentino.
Stellenbosch can confirm its leading regional position, as the source of a third of all top wines, he confirms, followed at some distance by the Swartland.
Although no wine achieves a perfect score of 100 points this year, two wines, one red and one white, obtain a score of 99. They are the Boekenhoutskloof Semillon and Sadie Family's Columella wines. Eben Sadie, who regularly achieves one of the highest Tim Atkin ratings, was crowned Winemaker of the Year in both 2015 and 2019. This year there are 10 wines that score 98 points each.
To purchase the report, where more details can be found, please visit www.timatkin.com.
THE 2022 STAGE (TOP ACHIEVERS):
- Winemaker of the Year: Duncan Savage of Savage Wines
- Young Winemaker of the Year: Charla Bosman of Sijnn
- Winemaker of the Year: Sheldon van Wyk
- Producer Cellar of the Year: Darling Cellars
- Legend of Winemaking: Kevin Arnold
- Best Cellar Door Experience: Benguela Cove
- Overall White Wine of the Year: 2020 Boekenhoutskloof Semillon, Franschhoek
- Red Wine of the Year: 2020 Sadie Family Columella, Swartland
- Overall Rosé of the Year: 2021 Lievland Liefkoos Rosé, Stellenbosch
- Overall Sparkling Wine of the Year: 2015 Graham Beck Cuvée Clive Magnum, Western Cape
- Overall Sweet Wine of the Year: NV Mullineux Olerasay Straw Wine #3, Swartland
- Overall Fortified Wine of the Year: 2005 Boplaas Cape Tawny Single Harvest Colheita, Calitzdorp
- Red Wine Discovery of the Year: 2019 Kershaw Syrah Deconstructed Greenland Bokkeveld Shale SH22, Elgin
- White Wine Discovery of the Year: 2021 Rall Noa Chenin Blanc, Swartland
- Sparkling Wine Discovery of the Year: 2014 Le Lude Venus Brut Nature, Western Cape
- Best Value White of the Year: 2021 Paul Cluver Village Chardonnay, Elgin
- Best Value Red of the Year: 2021 Brookdale Mason Road Syrah, Paarl
- Best value rosé of the year: 2021 Dieu Donné Blanc de Noir, Franschhoek
- Best value sparkling wine of the year: 2013 Bon Courage Jacques Bruère Brut Reserve, Robertson
- Best Value Sweet Wine of the Year: 2020 Slanghoek Winery Crème de Chenin, Slanghoek
- Best Value Fortified Wine of the Year: NV KWV Classic Cape Tawny, Western Cape.
WINES OF SOUTH AFRICA (WoSA) is a non-profit organization that promotes the export of all South African wine to key international markets. In addition to its headquarters in Stellenbosch, South Africa, WoSA also has offices in Johannesburg, England, Canada, USA, Sweden, China, the Netherlands and Germany.
For more information, visit www.wosa.co.za