Tim Atkin MW’s South Africa Special Report 2015 released

August 26, 2015
by Christian
in News
with 2 Comments
Tim Atkin MW

Tim Atkin MW

Tim Atkin MW has released his third annual South Africa Special Report. The publication, which runs to almost 150 pages, includes wines and winemakers of the year for the first time, these being:

Winemaker of the Year: Eben Sadie of Sadie Family Wines
Young Winemaker of the Year: Morné Vrey of Delaire Graff
Overall White Wine of the Year: 2014 Chamonix Reserve Chardonnay
Overall Red Wine of the Year: 2013 Sadie Family Columella
Overall Sweet Wine of the Year: 2012 Klein Constantia Vin de Constance
Overall Sparkling Wine of the Year: 2009 Graham Beck Cuvée Clive

In addition to these four wines, Atkin has nominated a further 46 labels, all of which scored 95 points or more, as his Wines of the Year. There are scores for over 1 000 wines in total.

Atkin has also produced his controversial Cape Classification, loosely based on the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, and grouping the top 150 Cape wineries into First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth growths, as well as a group of 75 Crus Bourgeois.

This year’s so-called First Growths are:

AA Badenhorst
Cape Point
Delaire Graff
Klein Constantia
Mullineux & Leeu
Paul Cluver
Sadie Family

Tim Atkin’s 2015 South Africa Special Report is available to download from Timatkin.com for £15 or R300.

Tagged , ,

Share this post


  1. RyanAugust 27, 2015 at 11:57 pmReply

    Of course it is controversial and my personal tastes also cry foul. I think it is a serious attempt to make sense out of the fragmented SA wine industry. It’s not perfect but it is a good effort. Hopefully one will see from the report what criteria has been used to classify (I am sure it is not tasting alone) because then the points system falls flat as Hennie pointed out. It’s interesting that Rupert and Rothschild is regarded as a fourth growth (which I agree with) whereas their marketing machinery pitches them as a SA “first growth”. Maybe it is the fact that South Africans are so proud of their excellent wine making efforts and the fact that tastes are so personal and SA wine drinkers have their own strong opinions and tastes that this report sits uncomfortable.

  2. Hennie TaljaardAugust 26, 2015 at 9:38 pmReply

    The classification does not seem credible. For example Beeslaar is a 2nd growth and Keet a 4th. What is so vastly different between these two producers? Both has been making a single wine for about the same length of time and of about the same quality. They are without a doubt in the same class. The Beeslaar scored at 96 and Keet at 95 (and he gave exactly the same scores in 2014). It seems even more bizarre that Beeslaar moved up from a Crus Bourgeois in 2014 to 2nd in 2015 while Keet stayed at 4th. Where’s the logic in that?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


AEC v1.0.4
  • October 25, 2016Veritas Tasting - JHB
  • October 26, 2016RMB WineX 2016
  • October 29, 2016Season of Sauvignon Festival
  • November 1, 2016Prescient Chardonnay Public Tasting - Café Cru, Monte Casino
AEC v1.0.4
newlstter2 Get the biggest stories of the past fortnight sent directly to your inbox. subscribe

Wine magazine was published from October 1993 until September 2011 & now lives on in digital form as Winemag.co.za. We cover everything to do with South African wine.

XSLT Plugin by Leo Jiang