{"api":{"host":"https:\/\/pinot.decanter.com","authorization":"Bearer NjVjNDZkNTI4N2ZiNjc5NGRkNmRkMzUzMzBmM2I0Yjg3N2Q3MjA2NTFlN2NlMzM2ZjgyY2ZlNGZkZWU3ZTg2ZQ","version":"2.0"},"piano":{"sandbox":"false","aid":"6qv8OniKQO","rid":"RJXC8OC","offerId":"OFPHMJWYB8UK","offerTemplateId":"OFPHMJWYB8UK","wcTemplateId":"OTOW5EUWVZ4B"}}


South African Shiraz/Syrah: panel tasting results

A great success, with a high proportion of wines scoring 90pts or more – around the regions, a great range of styles showing character and value.

Greg Sherwood MW, Daniel Grigg and Roger Jones tasted 137 wines, with 11 Outstanding and 75 Highly Recommended.

South African Shiraz/Syrah panel tasting scores

137 wines tasted

Exceptional 0

Outstanding 11

Highly recommended 75

Recommended 45

Commended 5

Fair 0

Poor 0

Faulty 1

Entry criteria: producers and UK agents were invited to submit their latest vintage releases of still red wines made using a minimum of 85% Shiraz/Syrah

With striking examples being produced in almost every corner of the Cape at varied price points, Shiraz has to be one of the strongest weapons in South Africa’s armoury when taking on other New World competitors in wine.

In this impressive two-day panel tasting, the vast majority demonstrated what all three judges felt was the driving force behind the rise in both quality and global perception of South African wines in general.

Namely, the winemakers’ courage and determination to make the wines they want to make, rather than what is expected of them. Were this an Australian Shiraz tasting, for example, we questioned whether we would have been treated to such a plethora of wine styles.

Scroll down for the top-scoring South African Shiraz/Syrah

While producers seemed to use new oak to distract from a lack of substance in some wines, Daniel Grigg highlighted other wines where it was used to great effect, bestowing a sense of gravitas and enhancing the grape’s varietal identity and purity of fruit.

Top-scoring South African Shiraz/Syrah

The judges

Greg Sherwood MW is the widely travelled senior buyer at Handford Wines. He publishes his Fine Wine Safari blog at gregsherwoodmw.com, and in 2021 was the DWWA Regional Chair for South Africa.

Daniel Grigg is managing director of merchant Museum Wines, winner of the South Africa Specialist category in the 2021 Decanter Retailer Awards.

Roger Jones is the retired former owner of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn restaurant in Wiltshire. He is now busy as a wine writer, judge and consultant, with a particular focus on the hospitality trade, as well as helping charities. He is a DWWA judge, including the South Africa category in 2021.

Related content

Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage: a 13-vintage vertical of this South African icon

South African Pinotage: panel tasting results

South African Sauvignon Blanc: 10 top producers to know

Latest Wine News