About South African Wine

About South African Wine
Today, South Africa ranks as the eight largest producer of wine in the world. The wines however a still largely a secret, as there has not been a serious marketing push for these products.

There are several excellent wine types, both white and red. For the former, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc have excelled, while for the red, international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are recent successes, joining the local variety Pinotage.

The Chenin Blancs offer great varietal purity and are made in a dry to off-dry style. Sauvignon Blancs, especially those from the Western Cape or Stellenbosch areas, offering excellent varietal focus and impressive structure, have been critically praised.

However, the reds, thought quite good, are less recognized, with Pinotage still a bit of a mystery as far as its image. Perhaps they producers will be able to get their message across soon about the quality of its wines, which will lead to better consumer recognition and additional sales.

Top Picks for South Africa

Leaf Plucker 2018  Sauvignon Blanc
92 points
$8.99
Best Buy
Emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of buttered apples, pineapple relish, toasted Hawaiian roll, passionfruit, grilled asparagus, and tropical spices with a satiny, fruity light body and a smooth, engaging, medium-length finish with no oak flavor. A flamboyant and outgoing toasty Sauvignon Blanc with character for days.
92 points $8.99 Best Buy
Ashton 2019  Chenin Blanc
90 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Straw color. Aromas and flavors of flint, ripe pineapple, banana creme, coriander, honeycomb, and parker dinner rolls with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an even, intricate, medium-long finish with notes of lemon zest with no oak flavor. A leesy and captivating Chenin Blanc with a hint of smoky flint.
90 points $9.99 Best Buy
Jam Jar 2018 Sweet White White Moscato
89 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Bright yellow straw color. Aromas and flavors of honeysuckle, clementine, ripe apricot, beeswax, and orange blossom with a satiny, petillant, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, medium-length finish with accents of key lime pie. A bright, fresh Moscato for anytime indulging.
89 points $9.99 Best Buy
Ashton 2019  Sauvignon Blanc
89 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of gooseberry, slate, cucumber, green peppercorn, and elderflower with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, compelling, medium-length finish revealing overtones of pineapple shrub and celery with no oak flavor. A bold, vivacious Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa.
89 points $9.99 Best Buy
Smate 2018  Shiraz
88 points
$15
Best Buy
Violet color. Baked aromas of blackberry coulis, baked orange, and dill with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and a warming, crisp creme fraiche and blackberry cobbler finish with moderate oak flavor. A silky shiraz that will play great at the table.
88 points $15 Best Buy
Stellar Organics 2018  Shiraz
88 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Deep purple color. Interesting, curious aromas of single malt whiskey, mesquite, heather and honey, roasted agave, chocolate drizzled poached pear, and toffee coated walnut with a slightly chewy, crisp, fruity medium-full body and a polished, compelling, medium-length mole, sweet potato pie, and nougat finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. An off-the-wall Shiraz that will surprise and delight your guests.
88 points $9.99 Best Buy
African Rock 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Pinotage Western Cape
87 points
$5.99
Best Buy
Indigo color. Aromas and flavors of tar pit, blistered blackberries, dill, hibiscus, and black pepper with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity medium body and a peppery, interesting, medium-length finish with elements of beef jerky, tomato chutney, and mulberry. A bold, smoky red that will triumph with grilled game.
87 points $5.99 Best Buy
Jam Jar 2018 Sweet Shiraz Shiraz
87 points
$11.99
Best Buy
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of tar, red peppercorns, black plum, and basil with a round, crisp, sweet medium-full body and a smooth, medium-length finish with notes of smoked meats. A full-bodied sweet Shiraz to serve with a slight chill; try with spicy barbecue.
87 points $11.99 Best Buy
Ashton 2018  Shiraz
87 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of tar, tellicherry peppercorns, malted milk chocolate, fresh blackberry, and licorice with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, medium-length finish with notes of thyme with chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A bold and expressive shiraz with lots of South African flair.
87 points $9.99 Best Buy
Leaf Plucker 2017 Red Blend Western Cape
87 points
$8.99
Best Buy
Ruby black color. Spicy aromas and flavors of pimiento and plum with a slightly chewy, crisp, dryish medium-to-full body and a graceful, brisk finish imparting impressions of dark chocolate ganache and charcoal briquettes. A Carmenere-like red that will fit right in at the table.
87 points $8.99 Best Buy