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

Ashton 2019  Chenin Blanc
90 points
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
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.
African Rock 2019  Sauvignon Blanc
86 points
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
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