Prescient Cape Bordeaux Red Blend Report 2020: Top 10

By , 21 July 2020

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Introduction

This year’s Cape Bordeaux Red Blend Report convened by Winemag.co.za and sponsored by multinational financial services company Prescient is now out. There were 61 entries from 51 producers and these were tasted blind (labels out of sight) by a three-person panel, scoring done according to the 100-point quality scale.

Top 10

The 10 best wines overall are as follows:

De Grendel Rubaiyat 2016
Price: R375
Wine of Origin: Coastal Region
Abv: 14.5%

Dornier Donatus 2017
Price: R350
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 14.5%

Ernie Els Signature 2015
Price: R740
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 14.72%

Kaapzicht Steytler Pentagon 2017
Price: R550
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv:14.57%

MR de Compostella 2017
Price: R1 500
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 14.5%

Org de Rac Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Reserve 2017
Price: R250
Wine of Origin: Swartland
Abv: 14.56%

Quest Bordeaux Style 2017 (Du Toitskloof)
Price: R310
Wine of Origin: Western Cape
Abv: 14.5%

Tokara Director’s Reserve 2017
Price: R400
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 14.8%

Warwick Trilogy 2017
Price: R550
Wine of Origin: Simonsberg-Stellenbosch
Abv: 14.27%

Zorgvliet Richelle 2017
Price: R315
Wine of Origin: Banghoek
Abv: 14.66%

Zorgvliet, Stellenbosch.

About the category

The Bordeaux region in the southwest of France is famous for its red blends, the best of which can age with benefit over many years. The two grapes that feature most prominently are austere Cabernet Sauvignon and fleshy Merlot, although Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot also play a role. This style has been imitated around the world and South Africa is no exception.

What do top Cape Bordeaux Red Blends go for?

The average cellar-door price of the Top 10, meanwhile, is R534 a bottle with Org de Rac Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Reserve 2017 the most affordable at R250 a bottle.

In-depth analysis

To read the report in full, including key findings, tasting notes for the top wines, buyers guide and scores on the 100-point quality scale for all wines entered, download the following: Prescient Cape Bordeaux Red Blend Report 2020

Prize

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The producer of the wine judged best overall wins a new 225-litre Biodynamie barrel worth €908 (the equivalent of R17 375 at the time of writing) from Tonnellerie Sylvain. This will be announced towards the end of the year.

Shop online

Johannesburg boutique wine retailer Dry Dock Liquor is offering all wines in the top 10 for sale – buy now.

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Comments

7 comment(s)

  • Peter Butt22 July 2020

    Very interesting. I’m only leaving this message so that I could be on your mailing list. SA wines have come a very long way in the last 10 – 15 years. Unfortunately my family and I would not be able to make our planned trip to SA this year to sample some of these great wines with the local cuisine.

  • Jabulani Debedu21 July 2020

    Thank you for the report Christiaan

    I’m intrigued, there is mixed assessment of the Raats Jasper Red Blend 2017 which was curiously entered for the 2019 and 2020 reports. I took a punt on a case based on the 93 points achieved in the 2019 report. I must say, for me, it didn’t quite live up to the 2019 valuation. The 90 points valuation in the 2020 report is more in line with mine.

    Care to explain why the panel scored it higher last year than this year?

    • Christian Eedes21 July 2020

      Hi Jabulani, As it so happens, there wasn’t a vast difference in the comments from panel members this year compared to last year and there’s still plenty to recommend the wine. Red and black berries plus some attractive herbal character on the nose while the palate is medium bodied with plenty of clean, juicy fruit and fine, powdery tannins. It’s probably lost a little of its primary charm in the last 12 months but I think it’s set to take on added complexity by virtue of ageing over at least the next five years so don’t be in too much of a hurry to finish your case.

      • Jabulani Debedu21 July 2020

        Appreciate the feedback. I have held back 3 bottles to assess again in the coming years. To be sure, Jasper is a very good wine and i’m fascinated by the Cabernet Franc and Malbec dominance (which i’m not used to).

  • Keith Prothero21 July 2020

    All high alcohol I notice. Personally prefer Bordeaux blends from cooler climates with lower abv%

  • Alan Duggan21 July 2020

    Forgive a naive question from an enthusiastic amateur, but did Joubert-Tradauw’s lovely R62 not qualify as a Bordeaux-style competitor? Or if it did, was it simply not good enough for a Top 10 ranking?

    • Christian Eedes21 July 2020

      Hi Alan, The R62 2013 is very much a Cape Bordeaux Blend (while the 2014 is straight Cab) but the cellar chose not to enter it which is entirely its prerogative.

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