Two South African wines have achieved perfect scores (100/100) in the Tim Atkin MW Special Report 2020. Tim is a leading UK wine writer and is highly recognised in the South African Wine community simply because, well, he has a rather refined palate backed with years of wine tasting experience. #goals
Tim tasted 1 381 South African wines this year with a whopping 32 Chenin Blancs achieving the honourable 95+ points. But it was two wines, one red and one white, which really stole the show having achieved 100 points! This is only the 2nd and 3rd time ever in history that a South African wine has achieved this score by Tim. You will remember the first being Kanonkop’s Paul Sauer 2015 vintage.
Congratulations to 2018 Porseleinberg Syrah from the Swartland, and the 2019 Sadie Family Skurfberg Chenin Blanc from Olifants River.
I have not tasted these wines yet but I will be sure to hunt them down if I can…but I wonder at what price…
Why should you get the Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2020 Special Report book?
The Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2020 Special Report, now in its eighth year and available on timatkin.com, is regarded as one of the most detailed and authoritative overviews of South African wine.
To purchase the book online is 20 British Pounds which is equivalent to around R430 South African Rand. It’s 225 pages of South African wine information which will help you discover some South African greats!
Tim says that “Despite the well-publicised challenges it faces, South Africa is making the best wines in its history. Over the decade I’ve been writing these reports, it has been a delight to see the general improvements in quality and the tentative emergence of a South African fine wine sector, with bottles that are discussed, cellared, coveted, shared and sold at auction.
“Rather than just a few individuals, what we have now is a constellation shining bright above us in the firmament, made up of more than 100 winemaking stars.
“This is my eighth South Africa report,” comments Tim, “and it was very different in terms of its preparation to the previous seven. However, thanks to the help of Wines of South Africa and others, I was able to taste almost everything I needed to and talk to leading winemakers, viticulturists and industry figures.”
More about the Perfect Scores
For only the second time ever, Atkin has given the highest mark possible to a New World wine. This year, two wines, one red, one white, scored 100 points.
“This year I have awarded two perfect scores of 100 points; these are only the second and third wines ever to receive this accolade (the first was Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2015, in 2018),” he says. “These remarkable, world-class wines are the 2018 Porseleinberg Syrah from the Swartland, and the 2019 Sadie Family Skurfberg Chenin Blanc from Olifants River.
“Not only that, but 23 other wines scored 97 points or higher. Chenin Blanc is the standout grape this time, with 32 Chenins scoring 95 points or more, but rarer grapes such as Colombard, Tinta Barocca and Palomino also featured among my 153 wines of the year. I salute all the winning winemakers and viticulturists for their fantastic efforts and can’t wait to see them in person again soon.”
Wines and Winemakers of the Year
Tim Atkin also awards special mention to the standout wines and winemakers of the year. His 2020 Podium is reproduced below.
- Winemaker of the Year: Gottfried Mocke of Boekenhoutskloof
- Young Winemakers of the Year: David and Nadia Sadie of David & Nadia
- Grower of the Year: Johan Reyneke of Reyneke Wines
- Co-operative of the Year: Riebeek Valley Wine Company
- Winemaking Legend: Peter Finlayson of Bouchard Finlayson
- Best Cellar Door Experience: Delaire Graff
- Overall White Wine of the Year: 2019 Sadie Family Skurfberg Chenin Blanc, Olifants River
- Overall Red Wine of the Year: 2018 Porseleinberg Syrah, Swartland
- Overall Rosé of the Year: 2019 Lievland Liefkoos Rosé, Stellenbosch
- Overall Sparkling Wine of the Year: 2014 Graham Beck Cuvée Clive, Western Cape
- Overall Sweet Wine of the Year: 2017 Klein Constantia Vin de Constance, Constantia
- Overall Fortified Wine of the Year: 2018 De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve, Calitzdorp
- Red Wine Discovery of the Year: 2017 Miles Mossop Sam, Stellenbosch
- White Wine Discovery of the Year: 2019 Thorne & Daughters Snakes & Ladders Sauvignon Blanc, Citrusdal Mountain
- Best Value White of the Year: 2019 Eikendal Janina Unwooded Chardonnay, Western Cape
- Best Value Red of the Year: 2019 Boplaas Touriga Nacional Family Reserve, Calitzdorp
- Best Value Rosé of the Year: 2019 Meerhof Grenache Rosé, Swartland
- Best Value Sparkling Wine of the Year: 2011 Bon Courage Jacques Bruère Blanc de Blancs, Robertson
- Best Value Sweet Wine of the Year: 2019 Klawer Cellars Villa Esposto Straw Wine, Citrusdal Mountain
- Best Value Fortified Wine of the Year: 2014 Alvi’s Drift Muscat de Frontignan, Worcester
Well done to all the winners!