About White Wines from South Africa

About White Wines from South Africa
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

White Wines

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
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
Strelitzia Ridge 2020  Chenin Blanc
88 points
Yellow straw color. Aromas of beeswax, ripe fig, and papaya with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light body and a smooth, medium-long candied almond, meyer lemon, and poached pear finish. A supple and clean Chenin Blanc for effortless summer sipping.
Nine Fields 2018  Chenin Blanc
87 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Silvery emerald straw color. Aromas of wool, flamed lemon zest, and sesame with a bright, dry medium body and a relaxed lemon bar, yellow flowers, and sesame oil finish. A savory and distinct South African Chenin for spicing up a weekday dinner party.
87 points $9.99 Best Buy
Nine Fields 2017  Chardonnay
87 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Golden straw color. Fruity aromas and flavors of lime, orange creamsicle, and mango lassi with a velvety, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, relaxed finish with accents of gravel with a suggestion of oak flavor. A food-friendly chardonnay in an understated style.
87 points $9.99 Best Buy
African Rock 2019  Sauvignon Blanc
86 points
$5.99
Best Buy
Straw green color. Aromas of jicama in mango vinaigrette and dill with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light body and an even, compelling, medium-length water chestnut, lime-spritzed papaya, fresh cut grass, and meyer lemon finish. A tart, earthy Sauvignon Blanc for the table.
86 points $5.99 Best Buy
Ashton 2019  Chardonnay
85 points
$9.99
Yellow straw color. Aromas and flavors of sweet apple confection, white flowers, pear pastry, and peach with a satiny, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, medium-length finish that exhibits elements of toffee. A fruity, easy-drinking Chardonnay that will be a real crowdpleaser.
85 points $9.99
Nine Fields 2018  Sauvignon Blanc
84 points
$9.99
Straw color. Aromas of soft papaya, tropical fruit jam on scones, pipi du chat, and golden beets with a supple, crisp, dryish light body and a smooth, quick guanabana finish with no oak flavor. A solid Sauvignon Blanc for the table.
84 points $9.99
Smate 2018  Sauvignon Blanc
84 points
$15
Silvery emerald straw color. Interesting, green aromas and flavors of smoked paprika on peppers, grilled papaya custard, and lanolin with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, crisp finish with accents of grapefruit and lime rind and flint with crunchy tannins and no oak flavor. A crisp, lightly smoky sauvignon blanc with a cheery food-friendly nature.