Fresh off the digital press, Tim Atkin MW released his highly anticipated 2020 South African Wine Report with 1,381 wines tasted, 62 Zoom calls with winemakers to replace his usual month-long tour of the Cape, the captivating 225-page document, with tasting notes on over 1068 wines rated 90 points and over. In his report he noted:
“Not only that, but 23 other wines scored 97 points or higher. This time around, Chenin Blanc is the standout grape with 32 Chenins’ scoring 95 points or more, however, rare varietals are getting to share the same spotlight such as Colombard, Tinta Barocca and Palomino also featured among my 153 wines of the year. I salute all of the winning winemakers and viticulturists for their fantastic efforts and can’t wait to see them in person again soon.”
As a proud South African, it gives me immense gratification to see our wines given recognition on an international scale.
The Overall White Wine of the Year:
This was awarded to Eben Sadie for the 2019 vintage of The Sadie Family Skurfberg Chenin Blanc, Olifants River. Eben Sadie is an award-winning South African winemaker, viticulturist, farmer, from the rockstar region of the Swartland. Thanks to Sadie’s passion and commitment he has helped put the Swartland region on the map and has proven that South Africa can produce world-class wine.
Overall Red Wine of the Year:
Known for their commitment to producing premiStaying with the ‘bergs’ as Tim puts it, Boekenhoutskloof’s 2018 Porseleinberg Syrah achieved a 100-point rating as the um red wine with attention to detail and pure excellence, the recognition of the Porseleinberg Syrah 2018 emphasizes how Boekenhoutskloof will continue to produce quality world-class wine.
A region to watch investment and conviviality in the Swartland has helped shape the revolution of the region to what we celebrate today. Known for its premium quality Chenin Blancs, low yields with little to no intervention in growing, the Swartland is certainly a region that excites many.
Red Wine Discovery of the Year:
2017 Miles Mossop Sam, region: Stellenbosch. Miles is renowned to be the winemaker at Cape winery, Tokara, Miles started his own brand in 2004. As a helpful side note, 2017 and 2015 were both outstanding vintages for the Cape.
Tim Atkin 2020 Winemaking Legend of the Year:
This was awarded to Peter Finlayson of Bouchard Finlayson ‘Founder and Pinot Noir Pioneer”.
Peter Finlayson was the first winemaker in the Hemel-en-Aarde region and recognised the valley’s potential in the region’s infancy stage which shaped his vision of excellence now along with winemaker Chris Albrecht. The estate currently has (62 acres) under vine of which fifty percent is dedicated to Pinot Noir. Internationally known for producing world-class premium wines Bouchard Finlayson are similarly celebrated for their commitment to protecting our environment as a Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) Conservation Champion. “I have much to be grateful for, this includes family success and the parallel journey of flying on a magic carpet during this unique phase surrounding Pinot Noir’s discovery of our vineyard “hot spots” outside of Burgundy.” Says Peter.
For the wine aficionado and industry professional, The Tim Atkin South African Wine Report serves as a great guide for premium up and coming wines in South Africa.
To end on this promising note from Tim Atkin: “It bears repeating, South Africa is making the greatest wines in its history.”