South Africa’s wine bible, Platter’s, has just unveiled its annual list of 5-star wines and Winery of the Year award, and family-owned Journey’s End estate was among dozens of wineries whose wines were given the top rating of 5 stars.
In the latest 2021 edition, Journey’s End’s Cape Doctor 2015 vintage was among a total of 212 wines from about 40 wineries that were awarded Platter’s 5-star accolade, given to wines rated 95 points or above.
The wine, a Bordeaux blend, is only made in exceptional years. The name “The Cape Doctor” is the local name for the strong south-eastern wind that blows from False Bay and funnels through to Cape Town and Blouberg.
Because it can play havoc with the vines at flowering, it is often cited as a negative factor for winemakers. At Journey’s End, though, the winery says it has a beneficial effect of long ripening periods for the grapes, which produces concentrated berries with fantastically firm acidity. It also minimises the risk of any fungal diseases on the vines.
The same wine was also given a Platinum award by Decanter with 97 points.
According to the wine guide’s tasting rules, all wines are initially tested “sighted”, taking into consideration the farm’s backstory, site, and climate. Wines which score 93 points and above during the initial taste test then were then re-tasted blind by a panel of 14 experts to select wines qualified for the 5-star title.
Kleine Zalze Wine Estate in Stellenbosch was named by Platter’s as Winery of the Year. Kanonkop Estate, Sadie Family Wines, Boekenhoutskloof Winery, Lourens Family Wines are among some of the biggest winners as well.
The guide is considered as an authority on South Africa’s wine industry. This year, the country’s wine industry has experienced unprecedented challenges with Covid-19, and the after-effects of alcohol sales ban.
The full list of 5-star wines can be found in here.
1 thought on “South Africa’s wine bible unveils top 5-star wines”
It is really very interesting in any case – and it remains exciting from year to year.
I have been following the wines of South Africa since 1994, which was not so easy in the first years after the “opening” here from Germany. In the 2000s there was more access to the wines from the Cape and in the 2010s the selection grew steadily. And for about 3 or 4 years now we have been taking note of the difficulties in winegrowing in SA on the one hand and the marketing strategies on the other.
Well, if we look at the influence of European wine guides in the last 25 years in the de facto operational market, and especially in the proactive participation in pricing, the question of independence has long been raised for all wine guides. A dramatic example is, for example, the Gambero Rosso in Italy, which has been using its power to exert far too much negative pressure on wineries for years. Against every journalistic rule, one must assume. Today, for the knowledgeable wine lover, it is nothing more than an inflationary winegrower’s address book for the next trip to Italy. And even this is something you can do without, with a smartphone these days.
Where the Platter stands today is difficult to locate from a distance. The fact is that the few tasters and critics have so far only ever wanted to cheer and recommend the same 5 or 6 winemakers and promote sales. Unfortunately, this alone no longer reflects the broad innovations in South Africa.
The fact that the Kleine Zalze Winery is being honored with 7 wines in the new Platter seems very “supportive” at first – even though I like the wines very much, especially because of the very good value for money!
Sadie and De Trafford with 6 wines each and Alheit with 5 wines can also be seen as an indication that otherwise the book will not be filled enough for the international market. Possibly.
It would be interesting to find out investigatively much more about how strongly the current marketing role is established at Platter Publishing today.
With best regards from Germany, Berlin