Platter’s South African Wine Guide 2023, by Philip van Zyl et al.
Platter’s South African Wine Guide 2023, by Philip van Zyl et al., is one of the few wine guides in the world that aims to taste and rate every wine from every South African vintage, and it’s been doing so since 1980.
In this endeavour, Platter’s South African Wine Guide uses two judging methods: label-sighted assessment as well as blind tasting (with no label showing). As Platter’s is primarily a wine guide and not a wine competition, our expert tasters initially assess the wines sighted to have access to vital contextual details such as site, climate and style. Since Platter’s not only rates wines, but also provides rich editorial content, this information enables our team to understand (and editorialise) the intent of the producer and the wine’s back-story. Annually Platter’s assesses a potential 9,000 wines. Those rated 93-points or more by the sighted judges are all entered into a second round of blind tasting. Here, a single taster assesses the wines within a category (for example, Syrah/ Shiraz) without sight of the label. If the category has a large number of wines rated 93 points or more, it will be divided into flights, each flight tasted by a single taster. Should this blind taster strongly disagree with the sighted taster about a wine’s score, the wine is referred to second-opinion tasters - these being two expert tasters who are not members of the initial Platter’s tasting team - who will taste the wine, blind, to either ratify the sighted taster’s score or the blind taster’s new score. The wines regarded as superlative in a South African context are awarded the guide’s highest rating, namely five stars, which equates to 95-100 points. Our Wines of the Year are the highest-scoring five-star wines within each tasting category. In the case of two or more wines being tied at a five-star highest score, the wine that is noted as the’favourite’ by the blind taster and/or the second-opinion tasters is selected as’category best’. Another noteworthy group is the wines which are rated 94 points, just under the five-star cut but extremely fine and collectable in their own right. They are listed under the heading Highly Recommended. The Top Performing Winery of the Year is awarded to the winery that achieves the most five-star results after the annual final tasting round. In the case of an overall five-star tie, this award goes to the winery that then has the most 94-point wines, and so on, until the year’s Top Performer is identified. The Newcomer Winery of the Year is awarded to a producer who debuted in Platter’s this year and achieved the highest ratings at the Five Star tasting, or the highest scores (should the wines not have reached the Five Star round). The Editor’s Award Winery of the Year recognises a winegrowing team (or teams) who, based on performance in the current edition as well as their track record, are ambassadors par excellence for South African wine. Implicit in both the Five Star and Highly Recommended categories is the potential that the wines will improve with further bottle-maturation: 8-10 years, perhaps more in the case of reds and fortified wines, and around 4-6 years for the whites. (Proper storage is, of course, vital for sound maturation.) However, during the sighted tasting cycle, our team identified a number of bottlings, over and above the Five Stars and Highly Recommended, which show particular potential for cellaring. These age-worthy wines are listed under the heading Buy Now, Drink Later. [...]
This is an excerpt from Platter’s South African Wine Guide 2023, by Philip van Zyl et al.
Title: Platter’s by Diners Club South African Wine Guide 2023
Editor: Philip van Zyl
Contributors: Winnie Bowman, Greg de Bruyn, Tim James, Malu Lambert, Angela Lloyd, Fiona McDonald, Christine Rudman, Penelope Setti, Dave Swingler, Cathy van Zyl, Meryl Weaver
Publisher: John Platter SA Wineguide (Pty) Ltd
43rd edition. Constantia, South Africa 2023
ISBN 9781776402441 / ISBN 978-1-7764024-4-1
Hardcover, 11 x 20 cm, 742 pages, several maps and images
van Zyl, Philip und van Zyl, Cathy und James, Tim und Gibson, Joanne und Coetzee, Hennie und Lloyd, Angela und Marston, Cathy und McDonald, Fiona und Rudman, Christine und Smith, Samarie und Toerien, Wendy und Weaver, Meryl und Bowman, Winnie und de Bruyn, Greg und Swingler, Dave und Lambert, Malu und Setti, Penelope im Namibiana-Buchangebot
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