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South Africa: DWWA 2019 award-winning wines to drink now

The 95+ point sparkling, white, red and sweet wines to discover from South Africa's top wine regions

South Africa’s top-scoring wines from the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards showcase not only the versatility of the country’s terroir with 95+ point wines from Stellenbosch, Swartland, Elgin, Ceres Plateau, Cape Agulhas, Paarl and Cape Town, but the skill that goes into both top-quality blends and single-varietal wines.

Of the more than 16,500 wines tasted at DWWA 2019, only 148 wines received a Platinum medal, including six wines (one sparkling, two white and three red) from South Africa.

Senior wine buyer at Handford WinesDecanter Retailer Awards 2019 South Africa Specialist of the Year – Greg Sherwood MW says ‘South Africa, in my opinion, is making the most exciting wines of any New World country at the moment… South Africa’s time is most definitely now.’


Read more from Greg Sherwood MW: The 30 best South African wines under £20/$30


Whether you prefer sparkling, white, red or sweet wines, the below Platinum and Gold medal winners are worth seeking out now. From Nicolas van der Merwe’s utterly seductive Shiraz to Stark-Condé’s superb red blend, DeMorgenzon’s delightful Chenin Blanc and Paul Cluver’s very stylish Riesling, just read the tasting notes from our expert judges at DWWA 2019 to discover why…

South Africa: DWWA 2019 95+ point wines

For stockists and additional wine details, select the wine of interest below

Sparkling

Le Lude, Vintage Cuvée Brut, Western Cape, South Africa 2012

From the Western Cape, Le Lude’s 2012 Vintage Cuvée Brut won the judges over with its ‘Fabulously creamy mousse‘ and ‘distinguished hedonistic extravagance.

97 points, Platinum
83% Chardonnay, 17% Pinot Noir
Exotic, expensive nose with hints of oak spice, lanolin and creamy lemon biscuits. Fabulously creamy mousse, fine freshness and a really distinguished hedonistic extravagance.

White 

Swartland Winery, Bush Vine Chenin Blanc, Swartland, South Africa 2017

97 points, Platinum
100% Chenin Blanc
Delightful toasted praline, peach, cream, apricot and honey nose. More of the same in the mouth, which is rich, ripe, fresh and very tangy. Lovely cohesion of fruit, acid and oak, which cradles the fruit beautifully. Elegant, long and a delight to drink.

Tokara, Director’s Reserve, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2016

97 points, Platinum
70% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sémillon
Pretty elderflower, blackcurrant, yellow fruit, kaffir lime, toasty and bitter lemon nose. The palate is elegant and neatly composed with lively acidity and flavours of grapefruit and vanilla toast. Lovely herbaceous finish and stony aftertaste.

De Grendel, Op Die Berg Chardonnay, Ceres Plateau, South Africa 2018

95 points, Gold
100% Chardonnay
Fresh and lively with citrus aromatics. Lots of things going on in the mouth with notes of lemon, cream and spice. Long peppery finish and saline aftertaste.

DeMorgenzon, Reserve Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2018

95 points, Gold
100% Chenin Blanc
Really serious wine with aromas of creamy vanilla, nougat and honey over Cashew and Macadamia nut. Flavours of toasted salted almonds, grilled peaches and flowers. Wonderful length – a delight of a wine!

DeMorgenzon, Reserve Chardonnay, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2018

95 points, Gold
100% Chardonnay
Restrained creamed corn and baked yellow apple aromatics. The palate is super juicy, plush and expressive with lots of well-judged sweet vanilla oak and tangy citrus fruit. Very good now and on the way to being better.

Paul Cluver, Riesling, Elgin, South Africa 2018

95 points, Gold
100% Riesling
Very stylish with a real Rhenish feel to it. The racy acidity is well integrated with the residual sugar. It has pure and gentle apple and blackcurrant flavours, plus a long finish and aftertaste. Great development potential.

Kleine Zalze, Vineyard Selection Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa 2017

96 points, Gold
100% Sauvignon Blanc
Attractive elderflower, green pea, lemon and passion fruit aromas. Palate confirms the nose with notes of pineapple and a mineral twist. Long, mouthwatering, resinous finish.

Stark-Condé, Field Blend Chenin Blanc-Roussanne-Verdelho-Viognier, Jonkershoek Valley, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2018

95 points, Gold
42% Chenin Blanc, 28% Roussanne, 19% Verdelho, 11% Viognier
Vibrant and appetising ripe melon, lemon blossom and nectarine aromas. The palate brings a bright mouthwatering core of lively acidity, chalky texture and an almond nutty concentration. Lingering finish.

Strandveld Vineyards, First Sighting Sauvignon Blanc, Cape Agulhas, South Africa 2018

96 points, Gold
87% Sauvignon Blanc, 13% Sémillon
Genuine lively fresh nettle and elderflower aromas. Very typical and expressive wine with cool climate Sauvignon notes. Wonderful balance on the fresh, yet powerful palate.

Uva Mira, The Mira Chardonnay, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2017

95 points, Gold
100% Chardonnay
Reductive, smoky nose and packed with lemon, tangerine, salty caramel and Golden Delicious apple flavours with a nutty/mealy oak character. Very good length and balance.

Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards, Chardonnay, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2017

96 points, Gold
100% Chardonnay
A youthful wine with a solid intensity of primary notes of citrus, apple, some white flowers and vanilla on the nose and mineral and oak influence on the palate. Pure, bright, mouthwatering finish. Excellent development potential.

Red

Beyerskloof, Faith, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2014

97 points, Platinum
34% Pinotage, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot
Pronounced aromas of smoke bacon, prunes, argan oil, roasted black fruits, balsamic vinegar and sweet spices. Full-bodied palate with lots of substance and concentration balanced by a very energetic energy. An outstanding wine that still has potential for ageing for another 6-8 years.

Constantia Glen, Five, Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa 2015

97 points, Platinum
33% Cabernet Franc, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Petit Verdot
Pronounced notes of dark black fruits with a herbal undertone on the nose and palate. Lovely tannin structure and balance of acidity with a persistent, silky finish. An elegant and well-managed style of winemaking. Bravo!

Nicolas van der Merwe, Syrah, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2017

97 points, Platinum
100% Shiraz
Utterly seductive from start to finish. Umami, leather, tangy black fruit, tomato leaf and spicy scents and flavours ride on a framework of bright acidity and ripe, textured tannins. This is appetising, sinuous and very long.

Delaire Graff, Laurence Graff Reserve, Banghoek, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2015

95 points, Gold
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
A well-made wine with a bold, ripe-fruited nose of blackberry, cherry and plum with spice highlights. Supple, sleek and elegant in the mouth with a long and refined finish.

Idiom, Idiom ‘B’ blend Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Cabernet Franc, Helderberg, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2015

96 points, Gold
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
Cassis, dark plum, spice, nutmeg and red fruit nose. The palate is bright and textured with good grip, intensity, well-integrated oak and a long finish.

Lanzerac, Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Petit Verdot, Jonkershoek Valley, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2016

95 points, Gold
52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 16% Petit Verdot
Seductive nose of fruitcake, spice and violets. Succulent and spicy entry to the palate with all of the characters of the bouquet. Refined and elegant.

Oldenburg Vineyards, Rondekop Stone Axe, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2016

95 points, Gold
100% Syrah
An elegant and fresh style with supple fruit and floral hints on the nose and palate. Round, velvety and rich in the mouth with a protracted finish.

Ridgeback, His Master’s Choice Signature C, Paarl, South Africa 2016

95 points, Gold
45% Cabernet Franc, 33% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon
Multi-layered and complex wine with a ripe and classy dark fruit, milk chocolate and vanilla oak nose. Serious and full, with polished tannins and plush red fruit. Long and elegant.

Stark-Condé, Oude Nektar, Jonkershoek Valley, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2016

95 points, Gold
89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc
Beautiful subtlety to the nose – gentle ripe soft berry fruit with a brush of violet. Gentle, succulent and supple in the mouth with abundant reined-in fruit. Great purity and length. Superb!

Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards, O.T.V., Stellenbosch, South Africa 2016

95 points, Gold
65% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon
A superb wine with a vivacious aromas of spice, red and dark berries. Refined, elegant and light but not lacking power in the mouth with well-judged harmony of oak and fruit. An elegant style with a long finish.

Sweet

Klein Constantia, Vin de Constance, Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa 2015

96 points, Gold
100% Muscat de Frontignan
This is world class with lovely floral, spicy, marmalade, barley sugar, apricot and crème brûlée aromatics. The palate brings lively acidity and layers of delightful fruity flavours. Incredibly long.

Paul Cluver, Noble Late Harvest Riesling, Elgin, South Africa 2017

96 points, Gold
100% Riesling
Waxy apple, white peach, apricot, lime zest and floral perfume. The palate has a bright, zingy botrytis character and flavours of green apple, lime zest and honey. Exquisitely sweet, balanced, taut, crisp and long.

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