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1990 vintage guide for Red South Africa

South Africa 1990: Drink now

A large crop. The best wines were Cabernet-based but even these were rather light

Weather Conditions

An uneven spring in South Africa with alternating periods of fresh winds and hot spells causing patchy budding in some areas. The pattern continued into summer, affecting white varieties but most reds, specially late-ripening Cabernet, were harvested without significant weather problems to yield a so-so Cape vintage, quantitatively and qualitatively. Not worth seeking out now.

Best Appellations

The best of 1990 is to be found in Stellenbosch, Constantia, Paarl, and Franschhoek.

Best Producers

In Stellenbosch: Kanonkop (Bordeaux blend, Paul Sauer), Thelema (Cab.); Meerlust (Bordeaux blend; Rubicon); Rust-en-Vrede (Estate Cab.-Shiraz blend & Shiraz); Rustenberg (Cab.); Alto (Cab.); Hartenberg (Shiraz); Overgaauw (Cab.); Blaauklippen (Shiraz).

In Constantia: Buitenverwachting (Bordeaux blends, Grand Vin & Christine); Blaauwklippen (Zinfandel).

Paarl: Backsberg (Cab).

Franschhoek: L’Ormarins (Bordeaux blend, Optima).

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