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

Kershaw 2017 Clonal Selection Syrah
94 points
$64
A delicious Syrah that balances the bright and the brooding - full of dark fruit and coastal brush notes.
Awards: 2021 Best Syrah
Coastal Vibes NV  Sauvignon Blanc
92 points
$4
Best Buy
Has the herbal components to pair brilliantly with Thai food, but be careful, this wine is totally dry so it won't help to quench the heat.
92 points $4 Best Buy
Sunscape NV  Sauvignon Blanc
92 points
$9
Best Buy
Herbaceous with restrained fruit aromatics; a beautiful, lean, and textbook example of Sauvignon Blanc.
92 points $9 Best Buy
Never Look Back 2019  Cabernet Sauvignon
91 points
$16
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
$19
A savory and juicy Merlot with a strong sense of place; try with most meat dishes.
Strelitzia Ridge 2018  Shiraz
90 points
A luscious and complex red wine that slowly reveals its many layers of fruit, savory, earthy flavors and spices; hearty and pairable.
Babylonstoren 2020 Babel Red Blend Paarl Red
89 points
$23
A nicely smoky, chewy red blend that will excel with grilled meats.
Frisky Zebras NV Game Ranger Reserve Seductive Shiraz
89 points
$9
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
$12
Best Buy
A delightful red that manages to be both bright and rich, fruity and savory.
89 points $12 Best Buy
Babylonstoren 2021 Candide White Blend Western Cape
88 points
$19
A creamy and mellow white wine with interesting nuances.