The report, which is compiled by SA wine critic Christian Eedes and his panel of expert wine judges, highlights two key facts: South Africa’s ability to produce exceptional Chardonnays across multiple regions and the category’s continuing increase in quality. Out of the top 24 wines, 10 were from Stellenbosch, six were from Elgin, three were from the greater Hemel-en-Aarde area, two from Franschhoek, one from Constantia, one from Darling and one a multi-regional blend.
Speaking at the awards, Eedes indicated that the overall quality of the wines in the line-up this year was excellent, with an average score being 89.9/100. “This would suggest that local Chardonnay is not in some mysterious state of stagnation but rather going from strength to strength,” Eedes states in his report.
Ultimately, there were five wines which topped the rankings, each scoring 94/100, these being: Delaire Terraced Block Reserve 2016, La Bri 2017, Le Riche 2017, Meerlust 2017 and Paul Cluver Seven Flags 2017.
Winemag Business Unit Director, Jacqueline Lahoud commented: “The Chardonnay category is a highlight on the annual Winemag Report calendar, and we would like to thank our sponsor Prescient, for their ongoing support. This company specialises in investment and it is worth pointing out that any of these Chardonnays will make excellent investments – if only for the drinking pleasure they will all deliver on in the future!”