Platter’s announces record number of five stars

In a banner year for the SA wine industry, Platter’s South African Wine Guide has chosen a remarkable 80 wines to be awarded the highest honour of five stars in its 34th edition – up from 62 in the last edition.

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Three producers – Cederberg Private Cellar, Mullineux Family Wines and Nederburg Wines – garnered four five-star ratings, Newton Johnson Vineyards has three five-star wines and 10 wineries each have two five-star wines.

Alvi’s Drift Private Cellar, Chateau Naudé Wine Creation, Eikendal Vineyards, Hilton Vineyards, Opstal Estate, Raats Family Wines, Richard Kershaw Wines, Sijnn, Silverthorn Wines, Spioenkop Wines and Windmeul Cooperative Cellar each received five stars for the first time.

Of the five-star wines, the red and white which receive the most votes from the judges are named Platter’s Wines of the Year. This year the red wine is the Newton Johnson Windansea Pinot Noir 2012, described in the guide as “rich, fragrant, warmly sensuous”, while the white wine is the DeMorgenzon Maestro White 2012, a blend of chenin blanc, roussanne, viognier and chardonnay noted as “perfectly balanced for delicious current drinking or keeping”.

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Platter’s also identifies a number of entry-level wines which are exceptionally drinkable and well priced. The best of these, like the five-star candidates, go into a second round of blind-tasting to select the Superquaffer of the Year. For the fourth time since the category’s inception in 2006, the ultra-easy sipper of the year is the Boland Kelder Five Climates Chenin Blanc 2013, praised in the guide as a “cracking crowd pleaser” and an “over-deliverer of note”.

The new Platter’s includes descriptions and ratings of more than 60 brandies and husk spirits (‘grappas’) across a broad spectrum – from ultra-exclusive Au.Ra to the ubiquitous Klippies – together with brief profiles of distillers and brands. Leading SA sherry-style wines are also featured in the 2014 edition.

“By publishing brandy and sherry notes alongside those for wines,” says Platter’s new publisher, Jean-Pierre Rossouw, “we’re not only providing useful information and buying advice, but also intending to create a sense of discovery and excitement among our readers.

“Many top producers make brandies and sherry-style wines, and they are world-class.”

In addition, Platter’s 2014 has extensive information on where to go and what to do in wine country, including accommodation and cellar-door tasting options, GPS co-ordinates and quick look-up tables.

The Platter’s 2014 print version is available from the second half of November at selected bookstores and retail outlets countrywide. Recommended retail price is R169,95. The book can also be ordered online from The web-based version of the guide is also available here. 

Click on the link to view the five star wines and brandies for 2014.