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

Strelitzia Ridge 2018  Shiraz
90 points
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of ripe red apple, guanabana, roasted meats, red cassis, and tar with a supple, vibrant, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, breezy finish with notes of lingonberry jam, charred tobacco, and red capsicum with moderate oak flavor. A luscious and complex red wine that slowly reveals its many layers of fruit, savory, earthy flavors and spices; hearty and pairable.
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
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