The Platter’s Wine Guide is celebrating its 40th anniversary, introducing South Africa’s top wine performers to enter 2020 in the best vinous spirits. This wine guide has become a house hold institution, mapping the journey to find new wines, discover gems that punch above their “price” weight or to simply follow the trajectory of wines you’ve come to love.
Platter’s is as the name says, a guide, and serves as a complete manual of different wine styles in South Africa, the latest industry data, bite size information about different wine regions and detailed information on farms that is a must-visit for oenophiles. The vintage and wine-style guide in the book is particularly useful to consumers who want to make more informed decisions before purchasing a wine they have little or no knowledge of. Not everyone can receive five stars and no panel is flawless but this is a darn good platform to advocate the vast offering of the South African winelands. As far as the producers go, this guide serves as a yardstick to measure their own progress. And as Gary Player said: “The more you practice, the luckier you get.”
Wines that received 5 stars had to score 95 points or more on the internationally recognised 100-point scale. A total of 125 wines and one brandy achieved the coveted 5-star rating.
The Top Performing Winery of the Year award went to Mullineux, giving this Swartland-based powerhouse a record-breaking fourth title as Platter’s Winery of the Year. No stone is left unturned when Chris and Andrea Mullineux set their aim on producing wines true to its origin and, true to themselves. Mullineux achieved five 5-star ratings plus two Wines of the Year – their Granite Syrah 2017 and Straw Wine 2018.
Albeit no stranger in the wine world, the honourable award of Newcomer Winery of the Year (recognising the cellar that records the best results as a first-time participant) went to specialist sparkling-wine producer Pieter Ferreira Cap Classique. Fondly known as “Bubbles Ferreira” the brand-new wine label scored a staggering 97-points for his debut Blanc de Blancs 2012 méthode cap classique.
While it is an honour to receive five stars, the 4 ½ stars, good value wines and the hidden gems guarantees bang for your buck and mustn’t be overlooked. Few can afford a five star wine every day and keep in mind there will always be wines with gravitas that don’t perform every year. Apart from the consistent performers, my advice would be to also look out for the more unusual wines. Lighter reds like Cinsaut and Grenache Noir is ideal so celebrate a summer Christmas with a slightly chilled yet powerful wine. Erika Obermeyer Erika O Syrah-Grenache Noir-Cinsault 2018 already has this charming ring to it – wait until you sink your nose into this wine. The Foundry is back with the 2018 Grenache Blanc and the Trizanne Sondagkloof Blanc Fumé 2018 gives Sauvignon Blanc the pizzazz is deserves. The Pieter Ferreira Blanc de Blancs 2012 tells the quintessential SA MCC story; Mullineux Straw Wine 2018 conveys the magic of a sweet elixir and the KWV Centenary Brandy shows why South Africa don’t have to stand back for the finest cognac.
Article by Samarie Smith