About Red Wines from South Africa

About Red 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

Red Wines

Kershaw 2017 Clonal Selection Syrah
94 points
A delicious Syrah that balances the bright and the brooding - full of dark fruit and coastal brush notes.
Awards: 2021 Best Syrah
Never Look Back 2019  Cabernet Sauvignon
91 points
Best Buy
A precisely balanced, delicious and easy drinking Cabernet that boosts subtle complexities of flavor; drink now or cellar for 3 to 6 years.
91 points $16 Best Buy
La Motte 2019 La Motte Merlot
90 points
A savory and juicy Merlot with a strong sense of place; try with most meat dishes.
Babylonstoren 2020 Babel Red Blend Paarl Red
89 points
A nicely smoky, chewy red blend that will excel with grilled meats.
Frisky Zebras NV Game Ranger Reserve Seductive Shiraz
89 points
Best Buy
A juicy Shiraz that brings plenty of red fruits and herbal interest to the table.
89 points $9 Best Buy
Riebeek Cellars 2019  Pinotage
89 points
Best Buy
A delightful red that manages to be both bright and rich, fruity and savory.
89 points $12 Best Buy
Indwe 2020  Pinotage
88 points
Best Buy
A bright, food friendly wine with complex savory and fruit flavors; try with otherwise hard to pair game dishes.
88 points $15 Best Buy
Stellar Organics 2020  Cabernet Sauvignon
87 points
Best Buy
Hints of dark berries under layers of savory mole and spice make this an fun choice to pair with meals cooked over an open flame.
87 points $9 Best Buy
Frisky Zebras NV Game Ranger Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
85 points
An herb and smoke laced weeknight Cabernet with heft and lift.
State Room 2020  Cabernet Sauvignon
85 points
A balanced, full-bodied Cabernet that can stand on its own or complement many dishes.