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2001 vintage guide for Red South Africa

South Africa 2001: Keep

Excellent structure with a balance of ripe, complex fruit

Weather Conditions

The fourth consecutive very hot vintage in South Africa , one of the driest on record, and, at just 760 million litres, the smallest since 1987. Compact, ripe, healthy berries yielded vigorous wines with big flavours and alcohols. Some excellent Cabs, Syrahs/Shirazes, Bordeaux-style blends and ‘Cape Blends’ with pinotage. Generally, more juice and more approachability than 2000, and less of that vintage’s gripping tannins. Superior structure and balance suggest 2001 should age beyond the envisaged 6-7 year span of the previous vintage.

Best Appellations

Constantia, Darling, Paarl/Franschhoek/Wellington, Robertson, Stellenbosch (Helderberg, Simonsberg-Helshoogte, Bottelary), Swartland, Tygerberg/Durbanville, Walker Bay.

Best Producers

The top wines of 2001 came from the following: Beyerskloof, Stellenbosch (‘Synergy Reserve’ blend Pinotage, Cab S, Merlot; Reserve Pinotage; ‘Beyerskloof’ classic blend Cab S, Merlot); Bon Courage, Robertson (Shiraz); Boekenhoutskloof, Franschhoek (Cab S; Syrah); Bouchard Finlayson, Walker Bay (Pinot Noir); De Toren, Stellenbosch (‘Fusion V’ classic blend Cab S & F, Malbec, Merlot, Petit V); De Trafford, Stellenbosch (Shiraz); Diemersfontein, Wellington (Pinotage, Shiraz); Ernie Els, Stellenbosch (classic blend – Cab S & F, Merlot, Petit V, Malbec); Fairview, Paarl (‘SMV’ blend Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Viognier; ‘Goat Roti’ blend Shiraz, Grenache, Carignan, Viognier; ‘Solitude’ Shiraz); Groot Constantia, Constantia (Merlot); Guardian Peak, Stellenbosch (‘SMG’ blend Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache); Glen Carlou, Paarl (Shiraz; ‘Grand Classique’ blend Cab S, Merlot); Hartenberg, Stellenbosch (Cab S; Merlot; Syrah); Kaapzicht, Stellenbosch (‘Steytler’ Pinotage); Groote Post, Darling (Shiraz); Hamilton Russell Vineyards, Walker Bay (Pinot Noir); Havana Hills, Tygerberg (‘Du Plessis Reserve’ Shiraz); Kanonkop, Stellenbosch (Pinotage); Kevin Arnold, Stellenbosch (Shiraz); Le Riche, Stellenbosch (classic blend Cab S, Merlot); Linton Park, Wellington (‘River Garden’ Merlot); Ridgeback Wines, Paarl (Shiraz); Overgaauw, Stellenbosch (‘Tria Corda’ classic blend Cab S & F, Merlot); Rustenberg, Stellenbosch (‘Peter Barlow’ Cab S; ‘John X Merriman’ classic blend Merlot, Cab S & F); Sadie Family Wines, Swartland (Shiraz); Spice Route, Swartland (‘Flagship’ Pinotage); Springfield (‘Work of Time’ classic blend Merlot, Cab S & F, Petit V); The Foundry, Stellenbosch/Paarl (Syrah); The Observatory, Swartland (Syrah); Tukulu, Darling (Pinotage); Uiterwyk, Stellenbosch (‘DeWaal Top of the Hill’ Pinotage); Vergelegen, Helderberg (Cab S; ‘Vergelegen’ Auction Reserve classic blend Cab S & F, Merlot); Wamakersvallei Winery, Wellington (three ‘La Cave’ wines: Cab S, Pinotage & Shiraz).

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