Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Platter’s South African Wine Guide announces 2012 five star wines

Platter’s South African Wine Guide, the country’s leading wine annual, is delighted to announce the recipients of its highest rating – five stars – for the 2012 edition due in November.
Wines are graded in Platter’s on a five star scale, from “Somewhat less than ordinary” to “Superlative. A South African classic”. The guide strives to taste, rate and describe as many as possible of the South African-made wines available locally and overseas during the currency of the particular edition.
A record 7,000 wines are featured in the new edition (400 more than last time), of which 139 bottlings were identified in the first round of tasting by individual members of Platter’s judging team as potentially worthy of five stars.
The candidate five star wines were then entered into a second round of evaluation, conducted “blind” (without sight of the label) across a variety of categories, including reds and whites, sparkling, dessert wines and port styles. Only bottled (i.e. market-ready) wines, available during the currency of the 2012 guide, were considered.
Of the 139 five star contenders, 45 got the nod from the assembled panel. Remarkably, two producers each netted three five star ratings, namely Boekenhoutskloof, for their Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Semillon Noble Late Harvest; and Mullineux Family Wines, for their Syrah, White Blend and Straw Wine; and Nederburg, with their Ingenuity White, Edelkeur and Eminence. Graham Beck Wines was the other star performer, with five star ratings for two wines: the new Chalkboard #3 Cabernet Sauvignon and Pheasants’ Run Sauvignon Blanc.
Noteworthy this edition is the high number of first-time five star recipients, including Badsberg Wine Cellar, Colmant Cap Classique & Champagne, Diemersfontein Wines, Glenelly Cellars, Miles Mossop Wines, Mont Destin, Oak Valley Wines and Warwick Estate. Established producers returning to five-star form after a gap of several years are La Motte, which last bagged the maximum rating in the 1995 edition, and KWV, in the 1986 guide.
The best-performing categories this edition are Red Blends, with seven wines, and Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Unfortified Dessert Wines and White Blends with five wines each. Of the single-variety white-wine categories, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Grenache Blanc yield three, two and one five star wines respectively, while Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc are the top order in the single-variety reds line-up.
The leading Wine of Origin appellations are Stellenbosch, with 9 five star wines, followed by Western Cape (7), Coastal (5), and Franschhoek, Paarl and Swartland, with 4 apiece.
The five star wines for 2012 are:
Cabernet Franc
Warwick 2008
Cabernet Sauvignon
• Boekenhoutskloof 2009
• Graham Beck Chalkboard #3 2007
• Stark-Condé Three Pines 2009
Pinot Noir
Chamonix Reserve 2010
Newton Johnson Domaine 2010
• Oak Valley 2009
• Boekenhoutskloof Syrah 2009
Fairview The Beacon 2008
Mont Destin Destiny 2007
• Mullineux Syrah 2009
• Saxenburg Select 2007
Red Blends
• Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal 2010
• De Toren Fusion V 2009
• Glenelly Lady May 2009
• La Motte Pierneef Shiraz-Viognier 2009
• Meerlust Rubicon 2007
• Miles Mossop Max 2008
• Sadie Family Columella 2009
• De Wetshof The Site 2009
Jordan CWG Auction Reserve 2010
Chenin Blanc
Beaumont Hope Marguerite 2010
• Diemersfontein Carpe Diem 2010
• Vins d’Orrance Kama 2010
Grenache Blanc
• KWV Mentors 2010
Sauvignon Blanc
• Graham Beck Pheasants’ Run 2011
• Hermanuspietersfontein No 5 2010
• Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2010
• Steenberg CWG Auction Reserve The Magus 2010
• Strandveld 2010
White Blends
• Fable Jackal Bird 2010
• Flagstone CWG Auction Reserve Happy Hour 2009
• Mullineux White Blend 2010
• Nederburg Ingenuity 2010
• Tokara Director’s Reserve White 2010
Méthode Cap Classique Sparkling
• Colmant Brut Chardonnay NV
• Topiary Blanc de Blancs Brut 2009
Natural Sweet
• Badsberg Badslese 2009
Dessert Wine Unfortified
• Boekenhoutskloof Semillon Noble Late Harvest 2008
• Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest 2010
• Mullineux Straw Wine 2010
• Nederburg Edelkeur 2010
• Nederburg Eminence 2010
• Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2009
• De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve 2009

The five star wines will be available for tasting today and tomorrow at the Cape Wine Europe show in London.
Publisher Andrew McDowall extended the team’s congratulations to all the five star winegrowers, and to the makers of the wines that didn’t make the five star cut but are to be featured among the outstanding and highly collectible Wines of the Year for 2012.
To be unveiled with the book launch in November are the two Wines of the Year (a white and a red), the 'Superquaffer' of the Year - the wine judged to be the most drinkable and well-priced of all the entry-level bottlings tasted for the current edition – and the Winery of the Year, judged by the editor to epitomise the best of South African winegrowing today.
The 2012 edition will be available from the end of November 2011 from selected bookshops and retail outlets, as well as the website www.wineonaplatter.com. The recommended retail price is R159.95.

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