South Africa 1996: Drink soon

An unexciting vintage with few wines of note

Weather Conditions

An unusually cool season in South Africa, interspersed with showers, ending with record yields and, generally, a dip in fruit quality, specially for reds harvested mid- to late-season, such as Cabernet. Lighter, quicker maturing wines.

Best Appellations

Stellenbosch, Swartland, Paarl, Durbanville, Walker Bay, Franschhoek.

Best Producers

Stellenbosch: J.P. Bredell (Shiraz, Pinotage); Saxenburg PC (Shiraz & Cab. & Pinotage); Stellenzicht (Shiraz); Beyerskloof (Bordeaux blend & Cab. & Pinotage); Cordoba (Bordeaux blend, Crescendo & Merlot); Kanonkop (Bordeaux blend, Paul Sauer); L’Avenir (Cab. & Pinotage); Rustenberg (Cab. Peter Barlow & Bordeaux blend Rustenberg Estate); Uiterwyk (Bordeaux blend); Kaapzicht (Cab.); Le Bonheur (Cab. & Bordeaux blend Prima); Neil Ellis (Cab.); Thelema (Cab.) Jordan (Merlot); Hartenberg (Merlot); Overgaauw (Merlot) Uitkyk (Pinotage).Hidden Valley (Pinotage); Kaapzicht (Pinotage); Meerlust (Bordeaux blend, Merlot, Pinot Noir Res.); Le Riche Wines (Cab. Res.); Eikendal (Cab. Res.); Fleur du Cap (Cab.& Merlot, Unfiltered Collection); Middelvlei (Shiraz, Pinotage); Morgenhof (Merlot, Bordeaux blend, Première Selection); Neethlingshof (Bordeaux blend, Lord Neethling). Rust-en-Vrede (Shiraz & Cab.- dominated blend); Warwick (Pinotage, Old Bush Vine).

Durbanville: Bloemendal (Merlot).

Swartland: Allesverloren (Shiraz); Swartland Co-op (Shiraz).

Paarl: KWV Cathedral Cellar (Shiraz & Pinotage & Cab. & Cab. Franc & Bordeaux blend Tripych); Glen Carlou (Bordeaux blend Grande Classique & Pinot Noir); Villiera (Bordeaux blend, Cru Monro).

Franschhoek: Bellingham (Pinotage & Cab. Franc); La Motte (Shiraz).

Paarl: Wellington – Veenwouden (Bordeaux blend Classic).

Walker Bay: Hamilton Russell Vineyard (Pinot Noir); Whalehaven (Pinot Noir); Bouchard-Finlayson (Galpin Peak Pinot Noir).