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Vintage Charts

South Africa
All Regions
Vintage Grid Back to 1961
Wallet Chart PDF

Vintage Score Drink Rec Description
201688Drink or holdWildly 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
201593Drink or holdWarm, 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
201487Drink or holdA 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
201389Drink or holdA 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
201291Drink or holdA 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
201190DrinkFollowing another dry winter, windy and dry conditions persisted through the growing season, though temperatures were moderate; wines are concentrated, but still fresh and racy
201087DrinkCold, 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
200993Drink or holdFollowing 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
200887Drink or holdA 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
200788Drink or holdUp-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
200690DrinkWet 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
200593DrinkDry growing season with a hot finish. Whites were picked under cool conditions, but yields were reduced; later-ripening reds are rich, tannic and muscular
200487DrinkMostly cool season interrupted by a heat spike led to some uneven ripening. Those who picked Cabernet and Syrah late did well; others more variable
200391DrinkEven 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
200284Past peakVariable weather, with uneven ripening and reduced yields for whites and reds; some successes, but choose carefully
200191DrinkLate-ripening red varieties have intense fruit, with ripe tannins; whites also good
200090DrinkHot and dry conditions brought an early harvest. Reds performed well; whites more variable
199987Past peakVery warm and dry season. Reds have ripe tannins; good whites

Note: Most South African white wines should be drunk on release.

Vintage ratings: 95-100, classic; 90-94, outstanding; 85-89, very good; 80-84, good; 75-79, mediocre; 50-74, not recommended

A score range indicates preliminary analysis based on barrel samples and/or a limited sampling; many wines of the vintage not yet reviewed.

Drinkability: "NYR" means the vintage has not yet been released; "drink" means most of the wines of the vintage are ready to drink; "hold" means most of the ageworthy wines have yet to fully mature; "past peak" means most of the wines are declining rather than improving.


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