Vintage Charts / South Africa
Vintage Score Drink Rec
  • 2016 87-90 NYR Wildly hot and extremely dry vintage caused problems, with sugar ripeness racing ahead of phenolic ripeness and many growers picking early. Dry-farmed areas suffered; wildfires hurt producers in Simonsberg-Stellenbosch. Inconsistent overall, with some successes; yields markedly lower
  • 2015 93 Drink or hold Warm, dry conditions throughout the Cape's myriad growing regions led to a very consistent vintage, with even ripening and no disease pressure or damaging heat spikes; the only hiccup was producers who picked too early as sugars rose, before phenolic maturity arrived. Best since 2009
  • 2014 87 Drink or hold A very wet spring, causing higher-than-usual disease pressure, was followed by a generally cool, wet growing season that resulted in a late-running harvest with many varieties ripening at the same time. Whites harvested under good conditions in February, later-ripening reds more variable
  • 2013 89 Drink or hold A strong start to the season and excellent late-season weather, but humidity midway led to some disease pressure and put a premium on canopy management. Reds variable from producer to producer, with the best showing an elegant style; crop about 10 percent larger than usual
  • 2012 91 Drink or hold A cool, dry start led to a smaller-than-usual crop, though ripening occurred under moderate temperatures that persisted in February and March. Reds show polish and ripeness, with lower alcohols, while whites are fresh and delineated; similar in style to 2011, with an extra bit of concentration
  • 2011 90 Drink Following another dry winter, windy and dry conditions persisted through the growing season, though temperatures were moderate; wines are concentrated, but still fresh and racy
  • 2010 87 Drink Cold, wet winter resulted in late budbreak, with windy weather during flowering leading to reduced yields and a wet growing season causing some disease pressures. Late-season dryness and warmth helped save vintage, but beware of inconsistencies
  • 2009 93 Drink or hold Following the growing season's typical heat wave, moderate temperatures and well-timed rains extended the harvest into April and May. Very consistent for reds and whites in warm inland areas and cooler coastal spots
  • 2008 87 Drink or hold A late-flowering, wet spring and intermittent heat spikes during the growing season led to a challenging year. Vineyard management was crucial for success; reds and whites have lower-than-usual alcohols and lighter-bodied textures
  • 2007 88 Drink or hold Up-and-down growing season marked by a heat wave in late January. Most whites and early-ripening reds (Pinot Noir, Merlot) harvested in sweltering conditions; later-ripening reds (Syrah, Cabernet) benefited from dry, moderate second half of season
  • 2006 90 Drink Wet winter replenished vines after three dry seasons. Warm, dry growing season; consistent temperatures in second half led to even ripening. All major varieties performed well
  • 2005 93 Drink Dry growing season with a hot finish. Whites were picked under cool conditions, but yields were reduced; later-ripening reds are rich, tannic and muscular
  • 2004 87 Drink Mostly cool season interrupted by a heat spike led to some uneven ripening. Those who picked Cabernet and Syrah late did well; others more variable
  • 2003 91 Drink Even flowering and a long, dry growing season; many growers feel it's the best in a generation for both reds and whites, though some reds can show a slightly roasted quality
  • 2002 84 Past peak Variable weather, with uneven ripening and reduced yields for whites and reds; some successes, but choose carefully
  • 2001 91 Drink Late-ripening red varieties have intense fruit, with ripe tannins; whites also good
  • 2000 90 Drink Hot and dry conditions brought an early harvest. Reds performed well; whites more variable
  • 1999 87 Past peak Very warm and dry season. Reds have ripe tannins; good whites