Vintage Charts

South Africa

Vintage Score Drink Window Description
Vintage
2017
Score
93
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Another drought year, with low yields, but without major heat waves. Lower temperatures at night helped retain acidity and slow sugar development, while phenolics kept developing. Wines are graceful yet expressive and complex
Description
Another drought year, with low yields, but without major heat waves. Lower temperatures at night helped retain acidity and slow sugar development, while phenolics kept developing. Wines are graceful yet expressive and complex
Vintage
2016
Score
88
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Wildly hot and extremely dry vintage caused problems, with many growers picking early. Dry-farmed areas suffered; wildfires hurt producers in Simonsberg-Stellenbosch. Inconsistent overall, with some successes; yields markedly lower
Description
Wildly hot and extremely dry vintage caused problems, with many growers picking early. Dry-farmed areas suffered; wildfires hurt producers in Simonsberg-Stellenbosch. Inconsistent overall, with some successes; yields markedly lower
Vintage
2015
Score
93
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
Warm, dry season throughout the Cape’s myriad 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, before phenolic maturity
Description
Warm, dry season throughout the Cape’s myriad 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, before phenolic maturity
Vintage
2014
Score
87
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
A very wet spring led to 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
Description
A very wet spring led to 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
Vintage
2013
Score
89
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
A strong start to the season and excellent late-season weather, but humidity midway led to some disease pressure. Reds variable from producer to producer, with the best showing an elegant style; crop about 10 percent larger than usual
Description
A strong start to the season and excellent late-season weather, but humidity midway led to some disease pressure. Reds variable from producer to producer, with the best showing an elegant style; crop about 10 percent larger than usual
Vintage
2012
Score
91
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
A cool, dry start led to a smaller-than-usual crop, though ripening occurred under moderate temperatures. Reds show polish and ripeness, with lower alcohols; whites are fresh and delineated. Similar to 2011, with extra concentration
Description
A cool, dry start led to a smaller-than-usual crop, though ripening occurred under moderate temperatures. Reds show polish and ripeness, with lower alcohols; whites are fresh and delineated. Similar to 2011, with extra concentration
Vintage
2011
Score
90
Drink Window
Drink
Description
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
Description
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
Vintage
2010
Score
87
Drink Window
Drink
Description
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
Description
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
Vintage
2009
Score
93
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
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
Description
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
Vintage
2008
Score
87
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
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
Description
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
Vintage
2007
Score
88
Drink Window
Drink or hold
Description
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
Description
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
Vintage
2006
Score
90
Drink Window
Drink
Description
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
Description
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
Vintage
2005
Score
93
Drink Window
Drink
Description
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
Description
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
Vintage
2004
Score
87
Drink Window
Drink
Description
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
Description
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
Vintage
2003
Score
91
Drink Window
Drink
Description
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
Description
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
Vintage
2002
Score
84
Drink Window
Past peak
Description
Variable weather, with uneven ripening and reduced yields for whites and reds; some successes, but choose carefully
Description
Variable weather, with uneven ripening and reduced yields for whites and reds; some successes, but choose carefully
Vintage
2001
Score
91
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Late-ripening red varieties have intense fruit, with ripe tannins; whites also good
Description
Late-ripening red varieties have intense fruit, with ripe tannins; whites also good
Vintage
2000
Score
90
Drink Window
Drink
Description
Hot and dry conditions brought an early harvest. Reds performed well; whites more variable
Description
Hot and dry conditions brought an early harvest. Reds performed well; whites more variable
Vintage
1999
Score
87
Drink Window
Past peak
Description
Very warm and dry season. Reds have ripe tannins; good whites
Description
Very 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.

SOURCE: WINE SPECTATOR