South Africa's well-known Platter's Guide announced its favourite wines for the year 2015 during an opulent evening at the Mount Nelson hotel in Cape Town.
The guide, which was originally published from 1980 by John and Erica Platter, offers wine enthusiasts a good cross-section of available wine producers across the country, rating commendable wines using a star rating. Additionally, the guide includes awards such as the Winery of the Year, Red Wine and White Wine of the year and features 50 five star wines.
Swartland-based Sadie Family Wines is the Guide's Winery of the Year for a historic second time. The winery first took the honour in 2010 and it is the only winery to emerge from this year’s stringent judging process with three maximum five star ratings for the 2015 edition of Platter’s.
De Trafford Blueprint Syrah 2012 was named Red Wine of the Year, and DeMorgenzon Reserve Chardonnay 2013, is celebrated as the White Wine of the Year.
"We introduced a new five star tastings system for the 2015 guide that saw small panels of tasters assessing each category meticulously and in an unhurried fashion," said Jean-Pierre Rossouw, Platter's publisher in a blog post on the Platter's website.
"Therefore, producers that have achieved five stars in the 2015 guide can be sure that their wine or wines are truly exceptional. At the same time, there were many very tight decisions and hotly debated wines – making the list of Highly Recommended wines replete with fantastic options that just missed the cut."
Rossouw added that tasters set out to make their decisions based as much on the wines' back stories, the intention of each producer and details such as terroir and climate.
However, the five star wines are assessed differently. "[W]e shift to a blind tasting format as we are then comparing wines against each other within categories," Roussouw explains.
This year nine wineries achieved five-star status for the first time, including Creation Wines, Crystallum, Diners Club Bartho Eksteen Academy, Fram, Iona, Oldenburg, Porseleinberg, Stellenbosch Vineyards/Flagship and Sumaridge.
The five star achievers for 2015 are:
Warwick Estate Cabernet Franc 2011
Groot Constantia Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Le Riche Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2011
Nederburg Wines II Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Oldenburg Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Stark-Condé Wines Three Pines Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Sadie Family Wines Pofadder 2013
Stellenbosch Vineyards Flagship Petit Verdot 2010
Flagstone Winery Time Manner Place Pinotage 2012
Kanonkop Estate Black Label Pinotage 2012
Creation Wines Reserve Pinot Noir 2013
Crystallum Cuvée Cinéma Pinot Noir 2013
Newton Johnson Vineyards Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2013
Sumaridge Wines Pinot Noir 2012
Boekenhoutskloof Winery Syrah 2012
Boschendal Wines Cecil John Reserve Shiraz 2012
De Trafford Wines Blueprint Syrah 2012
Fable Mountain Vineyards Syrah 2012
Porseleinberg Porseleinberg 2012
Delaire Graff Estate Botmaskop 2012
Ernie Els Wines CWG Auction Reserve 2012
Hartenberg Estate The Mackenzie 2011
Thelema Mountain Vineyards Rabelais 2010
Vilafonté Series C 2011
DeMorgenzon Reserve Chardonnay 2013
Iona Vineyards Chardonnay 2013
Richard Kershaw Wines Elgin Chardonnay 2013
Sterhuis Barrel Selection Chardonnay 2012
Alheit Vineyards Magnetic North Mountain Makstok 2013
Fram Wines Chenin Blanc 2013
Kaapzicht Wine Estate The 1947 Chenin Blanc 2013
The Foundry Grenache Blanc 2013
Buitenverwachting Husseys Vlei Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Diners Club Bartho Eksteen Academy CWG Auction Reserve Vloekskoot Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Reyneke Wines Reserve White 2013
Vergelegen Wines Reserve Semillon 2013
Constantia Uitsig Constantia White 2013
David & Nadia Sadie Aristargos 2013
DeMorgenzon Maestro White 2013
Flagstone Winery Treaty Tree Reserve White Blend 2013
Miles Mossop Wines Saskia 2012
Oak Valley Wines Mountain Reserve White Blend 2010
Sadie Family Wines Palladius 2012
Sadie Family Wines Skerpioen 2013
Méthode Cap Classique
Graham Beck Wines Blanc de Blancs Brut 2009
Dessert Wine, Unfortified
Delheim Wines Edelspatz Noble Late Harvest 2013
Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines Straw Wine 2013
Dessert Wine, Fortified
Nuy Wine Cellar White Muscadel 2013
Boplaas Family Vineyards Cape Tawny Vintners Reserve NV
De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve 2012
KWV 12 Year Old Barrel Select Brandy
Platter’s 2015 print version is available from mid-November at select bookstores and retail outlets countrywide at a recommended retail price is R195.
You can also get the online version here.