Platter’s by Diners Club South African Wine Guide 2020 – a mouth-full for what is essentially known as the Platter’s Wine Guide – turns 40! For a wine guide 40 IS 40 and every single colour coded publication added to the bulky book we consult when we need some wine guidance.
The first Platter’s published in 1980 cost a meagre R6.95 and featured only one Chardonnay amongst the 1250 wines listed that year. The 2020 edition is wrapped in a blue Karoo Night Sky cover with a touch of bling reflected in the silver lettering. Very fitting for the milestone celebration that awarded 125 wines with the covetted five stars. A very starry Cape Town night it was at the Table Bay Hotel when all was revealed!
Congratulations to Mullinieux Wines who banked their fourth Platter’s Winery of the Year award. Locally, Hannes Storm, Emul Ross and the Wessels of Restless River did Hermanus proud when they took honours for the Burgundian varietals that are synonym with Hemel-en-Aarde. Storm’s Ignis Pinot Noir 2017 was rated as Platter’s Pinot Noir of the Year while Restless River shared the stage with Leeu Passant for Chardonnay of the Year. Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay 2018 was one of eleven Chardonnays to make the red carpet cut while the pickings were slim for Pinot Noir with 2 vintages of Storm Wines Ignis – 2017 & 2018 – on the list complemented by Crystallum’s Mabalel 2018.
Onrus winemakers Peter Allan Finlayson walked the walk for his Crystallum Mabalel Pinot Noir made from Elandskloof fruit, Chris Alheit for his Alheit Vineyards Magnetic North 2018 Chenin and John Secombe for a white blend Thorne & Daughters Rocking Horse 2018. Another Onrus resident that needs mentioning is none other than publisher of Platter’s by Diners Club, Jean-Pierre Rossouw. These gentlemen are building on the reputation of Onrus as a home for creative individuals.
Neighbouring Bot River wineries raked in a number of scrolls for Beaumont’s Hope Marguerite 2018, Gabrielskloof for Elodie Chenin Blanc 2018 and Syrah on Shale 2017. Elgin shined with Shannon Vineyards and Richard Kershaw Wines. Shannon’s Mount Bullet 2016 took Platter’s Merlot of the Year while Richard Kershaw had 2 stellar Chardies.
Corlea Fourie is almost as good as local, visiting Hemel-en-Aarde often to tend the fruit of the vine at Bosman Hermanus. Bosman’s Cinsaut Twyfeling 2017 left no doubt when it was named as Platter’s Cinsaut of the Year. Another wine made from Overberg fruit grown close to Stanford, Trizanne Signature Sondagskloof Blanc Fume 2018, also got the heads up. One of only three Sauvignon Blancs.
Many wines shined and many more are waiting to be tried. Grab a bottle and watch the stars.