Tim Atkin's top 25 South African wines

Friday, 11 December, 2009
Tim Atkin, Decanter.com
He's been accused of having it in for South Africa, and being overly critical of its reds (especially those 'rubbery' ones). So we asked Tim Atkin MW to tell us what's great about the Cape. He wasn't short of options...
"Why don't you like our wines?" a South African producer asked me recently. The view in the Cape, spread by a mix of ignorance and mischief-making, is that I've got it in for South Africa. The other falsehood is that I spend most of my time on visits sitting by the pool or playing golf, rather than tasting wines. One mediocre local hack even published my itinerary on his blog the last time I toured the Cape.

This article is my chance to put the record straight. I've visited South Africa a dozen times since my first trip in 1991 and I love the place. I'm also married to a South African and have more friends in the Cape than in any other wine region. I find the place beautiful, dramatic, vibrant, exciting, hospitable, politically engaging and sometimes downright scary.
And what about the wines? Some I like; some I don't. But that applies to every wine-producing country.

Atkin's top wines:

  • Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh 2007
  • Ken Forrester The FMC Chenin Blanc 2008
  • Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2008
  • Vergelegen Flagship White 2008
  • Neil Ellis Sauvignon Blanc Groenekloof 2008
  • Steenberg Semillon 2008
  • Raats Chenin Blanc 2008
  • Waterford The Jem 2005
  • Kanonkop Pinotage 2008
  • Hartenberg The Stork Shiraz 2005
  • Rustenberg Peter Barlow 2005
Click here to view the full list.


Tim Atkin
Tim Atkin

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