This is my eleventh South Africa Special Report. At 317 pages, it’s my most comprehensive overview yet of the world’s eighth-largest producer.
To compile the report, I tasted 2,206 wines from 419 different producers, spending over a month in the Cape in March and June this year, much of it spent dodging the rain.
The bulk of the report consists of tasting notes for the 1,537 brands that scored over 90 points. But there’s also plenty of in-depth analysis of the current South African wine scene, a list of the best restaurants, my controversial annual classification of the best 300 producers and my wines, winemakers, cellar door, viticulturist and legend of the year.
All in all, 201 wines scored more than 95 points – my equivalent of a gold medal. There is one perfect, 100-point wine this year (the fifth to enjoy such an accolade) and three 99-point wines. The excellent scores support my belief that South Africa is making the best wines in its history, especially in vintages like 2017 and 2021.
The strongest performers were Chenin Blanc and Syrah, but there are dozens of different styles among my top wines. The Cape’s diversity is one of its trump cards.
My 2023 South Africa Special Report is available to download from my site. Unlike food and energy prices, the cost of my report remains the same at £20. If you’re planning a trip to the Cape – or just want to buy some of South Africa’s best wines – it’s an indispensable guide to one of the most exciting wine scenes on the planet.