His highly anticipated 2020 South Africa Special Report has just been released and needless to say it was an unconventional gathering of information for leading UK Master of Wine Tim Atkin. His report is usually based on two visits to South Africa throughout the year which allows him to taste a wide range of wines, but as he was not able to travel to the winelands because of the global pandemic he had to rely on ‘South African wines coming to him’. This resulted in him tasting 1 328 wines and conducting over 50 Zoom calls.
A successful exercise indeed which saw Boekenhoutkloof’s winemaker and Franschhoek-based Gottfried Mocke named as his 2020 Winemaker of the Year. All five wines in the Boekenhoutskloof range scored an impressive 95+ points – three of which are proudly Franschhoek origin. Another highlight for Marc Kent’s team was their 100-point, Red Wine of the Year from their Swartland operation.
Following hot on his heels were Mullineux Wines, Colmant and Wildeberg who also scored 95+ for their relevant wines. Mullineux Wines had 10 wines scoring 95+ points, which included wines from their Leeu Passant range. These producers together with Boekenhoutskloof was also included on coveted Wines of the Year list in their respective categories.
Continuing to fly the Franschhoek flag extremely high 13 Franschhoek producers received ratings of 90+ for wines in their portfolios, as tasted by Atkin.
Although his report is shorter than usual it still presents an accurate and insightful overview of the South African wine scene. He was extremely impressed with the quality of the wines tasted this year, and in particular the 2017 and 2019 vintages. In his opinion 2017 deserves its place among the best-ever Cape harvests. These results reaffirm that the Franschhoek Wine Valley is indeed home to some of the country’s finest wines.
Well done to all.