Platter’s 2015: the winners

Here, along with the few special awards, are the wines rating five stars in the just-launched Platter’s South African Wines 2015 edition. The number is down from 80 last year to 50 (excluding brandies). I’ve commented on this, and made some other observations, in a blog on Wine Magazine [hopefully to be posted soon by the powers that be].

Winery of the Year: Sadie Family Wines

Red Wine of the Year: De Trafford Blueprint Syrah 2012

White Wine of the Year: DeMorgenzon Reserve Chardonnay 2013


Five-star wines

Cabernet Franc

  • Warwick 2011

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Groot Constantia 2012
  • Le Riche Reserve 2011
  • Nederburg II Centuries 2010
  • Oldenburg 2011
  • Stark-Condé Three Pines 2012


  • Sadie Family Pofadder 2013

Petit Verdot

  • Stellenbosch Vineyards Flagship 2010


  • Flagstone Time Manner Place 2012
  • Kanonkop Black Label 2012

Pinot Noir

  • Creation Reserve 2013
  • Crystallum Cuvée Cinéma 2013
  • Newton Johnson Family Vineyards 2013
  • Sumaridge 2012


  • Boekenhoutskloof 2012
  • Boschendal Cecil John Reserve 2012
  • De Trafford Blueprint 2012
  • Fable 2012
  • Porseleinberg 2012

Red Blends

  • Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2012
  • Ernie Els CWG Auction Reserve 2012
  • Hartenberg The Mackenzie 2011
  • Thelema Rabelais 2010
  • Vilafonté Series C 2011


  • DeMorgenzon Reserve 2013
  • Iona 2013
  • Richard Kershaw Elgin Clonal Selection 2013
  • Sterhuis Barrel Selection 2012

Chenin Blanc

  • Alheit Magnetic North Mountain Makstok 2013
  • Fram 2013
  • Kaapzicht The 1947 2013

Grenache Blanc

  • Foundry 2013

Sauvignon Blanc

  • Buitenverwachting Husseys Vlei 2013
  • Diners Club Bartho Eksteen CWG Auction Reserve Vloekskoot 2013
  • Reyneke Reserve White 2013


  • Vergelegen Reserve 2013

White Blends

  • Constantia Uitsig Constantia White 2013
  • David & Nadia Sadie Aristargos 2013
  • DeMorgenzon Maestro White 2013
  • Flagstone Treaty Tree Reserve 2013
  • Miles Mossop Saskia 2012
  • Oak Valley Mountain Reserve White 2010
  • Sadie Family Palladius 2012
  • Sadie Family Skerpioen 2013

Méthode Cap Classique

  • Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs Brut 2009

Dessert Wine, Unfortified

  • Delheim Edelspatz Noble Late Harvest 2013
  • Mullineux Straw Wine 2013

Dessert Wine, Fortified

  • Nuy White Muscadel 2013


  • Boplaas Cape Tawny Vintners Reserve NV
  • De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve 2012

Brandy (only brandies new to the Guide tasted this year)

  • KWV 12 Year Old Barrel Select


14 thoughts on “Platter’s 2015: the winners

    • Dante, I did taste the Groot Constantia cab, as well as the others. It was by far the most pleasant now with good fruit, flesh & balanced structure. I’d say it’s a good buy. What got me with the others is the – still – out of synch acid, which left a nasty, gravelly aftertaste. Have to say, neither I, nor I think, Tim, were on the panel judging cabs or the other Bdx varietal wines.

  1. My first thoughts:

    – Sadie Family Wines obviously Winery of the Year
    – De Trafford seems a big wine to me with 14,76% alc and expected best between 2015 and 2020. (which means that David thinks the wine is not ready for drinking, but the panel thinks otherwise?)
    – good to see Cabernet Franc, Cinsaut, Petit Verdot and Grenache Blanc on the list with five stars
    – only 3 Chenin’s but 4 sauvignon’s? That must be a joke (or a mistake…)
    – 13 blends out of 50, seems right.
    – Mullineux as winery of the year 2014 got only one five star wine? Seems odd.
    – Newton Johnson Family Vineyards 2013 pinot noir has it’s sixth five star rating in a row, must be a record?

  2. Hi Tim, I do agree that the biggest “oversight/omission” must be the Mullineux Wines – their 2013 White is one of their best yet not even a mention? I do agree with Winery of the Year, that Old Vine Series with the current release Palladius & Columella are all spectacular.

  3. Udo: I’ve commented on some of those same points on

    David: I’m a touch reluctant to comment definitively on Warwick Cab Franc, as I haven’t concentrated on it, and don’t like coming to conclusions when tasting a wine fairly fleetingly at a function like last night’s Platter launch. But my impression, and tastings of older vintages, leads me to provisionally agree with you.
    In fact, of all the categories of Platter 5 stars tasted at the launch, the only one I was rather disappointed with (with the occasional exception) was that of the Bordeaux varieties as varietal wines – cab sauvignon, cab franc, petit verdot. Too much ripeness, “balanced” by a big compensatory acidity, and too much oak – one or other of these was too common. Though the Bordeaux blends I did like more – especially Thelema Rabelais, which is very smart and will surely become a fine drink in 5 or 10 years.

    • The same problems on the Groot Constantia Cabernet? It is probably one of the cheapest red wines on the 5* list (for example more than a R100 less a bottle than the Warwick Cab Franc and over R200 less than the Le Riche), which may make still make it a good value proposition? Was thinking of getting some as I can just about afford it and my cellar is somewhat White heavy and Cab Sav is my favourite wine to age…

      On De Trafford Blueprint Syrah as wine of the year, De Trafford wine can usually not be accused of elegance although nearly always very good of the style. So a bit of a surprise.
      But it seems at this stage that 2012 may be turning out to be a good red wine vintage with better balance than the previous 2 years and may even challenge 2003 and 2009 (but probably not for whites).

      Also a bit surprised at Pinot Noir getting 4 wines on the list – if put next to the likes of Shiraz & Chenin.
      Only producer of whose existence I did not know of at all – Fram.

      • Dante, I confess the Groot Constantia was one that I missed for some reason – but it does sound like a good buy. And yes, I agree that the De Trafford is more elegant than usual, despite being big. (Personally, I think that Keermont’s new single-vineyard syrahs off the same vineyard – a bit earlier-picked, I suspect – are even better, fresher and more elegant than that fine De Trafford.) Actually the Boekenhoutskloof is also pretty big – but maybe even more elegant (for me it’s the best Syrah they’ve made yet). As to Fram, I should think few people have heard of it. Thinus Kruger has been hanging around the Swartland for a while – he’s a great friend of Callie Louw of Porseleinberg. I first met him, as I recall, when he was at Boschendal some years back. He’s a really interesting man, with extraordinary stories to tell about his travels to some of the less-touristed places of the earth.

  4. Your comments are now posted.
    “But it’s good to see Boekenhoutskloof represented again – I think this is their 16th 5-star, surely more than anyone else? ”

    Well Kanonkop got at least 25 before, so now 26. In early editions there were more then one vintage getting five stars, so they actually have more five star ratings.

  5. Udo – Regarding Kanonkop. I’d be interested to know where you get your numbers from. I’ve just whizzed through every single edition of Platter and (though it gets a bit complicated working out vintages and ratings in those expansive early years when you’re rushing) I get a total of 19. Even if that’s correct, well you’re also correct in thinking that Kanonkop beats Boekenhoutskloof (albeit with 20 more editions of Platter to do it in!). So thanks for the correction. Please (anyone) correct me again if you’re sure my total of 19 is wrong.

  6. Edition Brand Vintage/s
    1980 Cabernet Sauvignon 1980, 1979, 1978, 1976, 1973, 1972, 1970
    1982 Cabernet Sauvignon 1981, 1980, 1979, 1978, 1976, 1973, 1972, 1970
    1983 Cabernet Sauvignon 1982, 1981, 1980, 1979, 1978, 1976, 1973, 1972, 1970
    1984 Cabernet Sauvignon 1983, 1982, 1981, 1980, 1979, 1976, 1973, 1972, 1970
    1985 Paul Sauer 1982
    1985 Cabernet Sauvignon 1984, 1982, 1980, 1979, 1976, 1973, 1972, 1970
    1986 Paul Sauer 1984
    1986 Cabernet Sauvignon 1984, 1982, 1980, 1979, 1976, 1973, 1972, 1970
    1987 Cabernet Sauvignon 1973, 1981, 1982, 1980/1979, 1976, 1977, 1983, 1975, 1974; 1984, 1986
    1987 Paul Sauer 1984, 1982
    1988 Cabernet Sauvignon 1973, 1981, 1982, 1980/1979, 1976, 1977, 1983, 1975, 1974; 1984, 1986, 1987
    1988 Paul Sauer 1984, 1982
    1989 Paul Sauer 1982, 1984, 1986
    1992 Paul Sauer CIWG Auction Reserve 1988, 1989
    1995 Pinotage CIWG Auction Reserve 1989, 1992
    1999 Paul Sauer 1995
    2000 Paul Sauer 1996
    2000 Pinotage 1998
    2002 Paul Sauer 1998
    2008 Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
    2009 Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
    2010 Paul Sauer 2006
    2011 Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
    2013 Pinotage 2010

  7. Thanks for being less lazy than me, Udo! Of course there’s not a lot of point squabbling about this, as the great Kanonkop is clearly the winner over the life of Platter – but, in those earliest Platters, the older vintages were not individually accorded ratings, nor especially tasted for the Guide; the brand was given a general rating, and John Platter listed, on the basis of his previouys experience, the best of the earlier vintages.

    • I am lazy, just copy/paste from an excel file I got from Philip 🙂
      I was not aware of the early days system, my oldest copy of Platter’s is 2006

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