South Africa

South African Red Wines

South Africa has a wonderful vibrant red wine industry. It is considered "new world" by many although actually dates back to the mid 17th century when French Huguenots settled there and planted vines. Historic centres like the beautiful Franschoek valley still bear many French names for the properties and wine farms. It is stunningly beautiful and a fabulous place for a holiday if you are fortunate enough to visit.

The South African red wine industry has gone through something of a revolution since apartheid ended when most wine production was bulk wine run by the state. Now there are many artisan wineries producing excellent wines, with around 600 wineries in Stellenbosch alone. Some are pretty big operations running accomodation and restaurants, some are tiny, literally husband and wife teams.

We import wines directly from some of these tiny artisan family wineries. They are great quality and exceptional value for money. We also source some of the top wines from some of the more famous larger wineries such as Ernie Els and Tokara through their established UK agents. With the South African Rand remiaing weak, South African red wine is currently unbeatable value for money.

We strongly recommend you try some of our boutique wines from these small artisan wineries, in particular those from Grangehurst, Joubert Tradauw, Gande Provence, Boplaas and Rainbow's End.

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  1. The Fledge & Co Syrah

    Winemag.co.za 91 Points

    Platter 4 Stars

    The Fledge & Co is the fabulous winemaking venture from Margaux Nel (younger daughter of Carel Nel and winemaker at the family winery, Boplaas) and her husband Leon Coetzee. They handcraft tiny quantities of different wines from specific vineyard sites all over the Cape winelands. Often using exciting "experimental" techniques like extended skin contact, whole bunch pressing etc. They travel 20,000km to hand harvest the grapes from 35 different vineyards.

    This is Syrah grown on shale at a secret vineyard Leon has been watching for the last seven years. He added a small amount of Viognier from the neighbouring vineyard too. Hand harvested in the early hours of the morning, fermented in open top cement lagars then aged for nine months in French oak before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.

    Again very French in style. The wine is ruby red and crystal clear. On the palate it is medium bodied with good mouthfeel. Some lovely red fruit flavours initially then there is a lift from the viognier toward the long finish. Perfect balance throughout. This is a classy wine, again not a blockbuster, but elegant and delicious.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £16.49
  2. The Fledge & Co Katvis Pinot Noir

    Tim Atkin 90 Points

    Platter 4 Stars

    Winemag.co.za 90 Points

    James Suckling 89 Points

    The Fledge & Co is the fabulous winemaking venture from Margaux Nel (younger daughter of Carel Nel and winemaker at the family winery, Boplaas) and her husband Leon Coetzee. They handcraft tiny quantities of different wines from specific vineyard sites all over the Cape winelands. Often using exciting "experimental" techniques like extended skin contact, whole bunch pressing etc. They travel 20,000km to hand harvest the grapes from 35 different vineyards.

    A blend of 3 different clones of Pinot Noir from 3 different regions - Grabouw, Elgin and Karoo. All were hand harvested and cool fermented in cement lagars to retain the fruit before being matured for 9 months in old French oak hogsheads prior to blending. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.

    The wine is medium to light bodied. Very pure and elegant with delicate flavours and a lift on the finish from good acidity making it an ideal food wine. This is very French in style for a South African, not a big hitter. but very good wine for those wanting a lighter red.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £15.95
  3. Grangehurst Red Barrel 2009

    After competing in the Vintners Classic Surf Contest in 2004 Jeremy was inspired to produce a wine celebrating his two passions - wine and surfing. Hence he produced this "Red Barrel".

    Like all his wines it is superb! A blend of Cabernet and Shiraz with a little Mourvedre, all handpicked into small baskets. The grapes were further hand sorted from basket to basket so only the premium fruit was used.

    The different varietals were fermented separately, and each ferment was punched down by hand up to six times a day over an eight day period to extract maximum flavour and colour. The wine was then drawn off unfiltered and unfined to stainless steel before being matured in French oak for eighteen months, then the blend was assembled. The wine was then allowed to rest in stainless steel for a few months before bottling on a gravity flow system as Jeremy calls it - which is a tube out of the tank with Jeremy and the girls at the other end manually filling the bottles! 

    It's a big wine, powerful and full flavoured. Initial black fruit turns slightly savoury on the finish. Like all Jeremy's wines it is smooth and integrated, very easy to drink. Compared to his excellent "Daylea 2007" at the same price this is a bit deeper and heavier in style.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £11.99
  4. Grangehurst Pinotage 2008

    Both 06 and 07 were awarded 4.5 Stars Platter and we expect the same for this 2008

    Grangehurst Pinotage is fabulous - one of the best Pinotages on the market. All Grangehurst red wines are very good indeed. Jeremy has a real passion for Pinotage and is regarded as one of the finest Pinotage producers in South Africa. Rich, full bodied, full flavoured and super smooth with weight on the palate. A long lingering finish. This is excellent wine, and a great introduction to anybody who has not tried Pinotage before, or who has only had a mass produced cheap one, as they can put you off Pinotage for life (tasting like burnt rubber). This is a different animal altogether being a fabulous wine!

    Free sulphur: 16

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £17.99
  5. Grangehurst Daylea Red Blend

    90 Points Winemag.co.za

    Grangehurst Daylea red blend 2007 - is a recent release for Jeremy for "everyday drinking". I don't know any other artisan winemaker ageing a wine for nearly ten years before release. It is typical of his style, big opulent, super smooth and thoroughly delicious.

    Presentation is not good but the wine itself is superb and fantastic value.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £11.99
  6. Grangehurst "350" Pinotage 2009

    This "350" is a limited edition Pinotage from Jeremy at Grangehurst, to celebrate 350 years of winemaking in South Africa (1659-2009).

    Jeremy sources his Pinotage grapes from his neighbour Kautzenburg, also on the Heldeberg which is the best site for red grapes in Stellenbosch due to a combination of altitude and the cooling breezes off False Bay. Neighbours of note include Ernie Els, Rust en Vrede and Eikendaal, all producing good reds.

    The wine was aged for 35 months in French oak and left to fine naturally via gravity. The wine was also bottled by hand via a gravity feed.

    Free sulphur: tiny

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Dry farmed: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £29.99
  7. Kaapzicht Steytler Pentagon 2012
    Kaapzicht Steytler Pentagon 2012

    Michaelangelo Awards - Double Gold

    Platter 4.5 Stars

    Kaapzicht is an excellent family winery in the Bottelary Hills region of Stellenbosch just up above Jordan, Zevenwacht and DeMorgenzon. The Steytler family have been farming there since 1946. I've visited the farm, and met the family including Yngvild several times although I've still not yet met either Danie (Junior or Senior), who both collaborate to make this particular wine. By all accounts they have a huge passion for quality wines and are very highly thought of by other members of South Africa's elite Cape Winemakers Guild.

    Kaapzicht are a big farm but only estate bottle about 30% of their wines as they are passionate about quality and their reputation. These estate wines are pretty good but it's their premium "Steytler" wines that are just in a different league. Danie Jnr is regarded as producer of one of the Cape's best Pinotages, and to add to that he makes two blends - "Vision" and "Pentagon" in the Steytler range which are only produced in exceptional vintages when the grapes are perfect. I had the 2007 vintages of both which were amazing. Both tend to win numerous top awards.

    Here we have been very fortunate to get hold of 150 bottles of 2012 Pentagon, a five way Bordeaux Blend. There is no more, the winery have sold out and I doubt there is any in the UK except possibly for the odd bottle on the shelf of a lucky wine merchant somewhere. Don't be fooled if you see it advertised by one of these online "wine marchants" who simply list every wine they can think of then try to buy it in if they get an order for it - they won't have any or be able to get any!

    This wine is Danie's pride and joy and is exceptional. Presentation is superb too in a big heavyweight bottle, wrapped in heavy duty paper. Only 6000 bottles produced all individually numbered. This is a classic and will keep for 15 years plus if you want to lay some down. A future classic.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Dry farmed: Yes

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    £38.50
  8. Joubert Tradauw R62 Blend

    Joubert Tradauw R62 Blend is a beautiful natural Bordeaux blend aged in French oak for 20 months.  Meyer Joubert normally keeps the blend in this wine a closely guarded secret  as it changes each vintage, but he has been open this year that it is Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Merlot (36%) and Cabernet Franc (14%), Great wine, very natural in style and low in additives. Highly recommended.

    Free sulphur: 30

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £18.00
  9. Grande Provence Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 75cl

    Platter 3.5 Stars

    Yet another fabulous vintage. Made from Franschoek fruit. This is another example of the Platter ratings being unreliable. This wine certainly deserves at least 4 Stars in my opinion.

    The wine has some caramel on the nose which comes through on the palate with the plum and berry flavours. It's well balanced, round and full in the mouth, with strong concentrated flavours and a long finish. 

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £16.99
  10. The Grande Provence 2014 75cl

    The Grande Provence is the flagship wine from this estate and is magnificent!

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £45.00
  11. The Grangehurst

    John Platter 4 Stars

    The Grangehurst 2006 Bordeaux Blend is the flagship wine of the estate. Superb South African "Bordeaux"!

    Free sulphur: 2

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £31.75
  12. Grangehurst Shiraz Cabernet Reserve

    John Platter 4.5 Stars

    Grangehurst Shiraz Cabernet Reserve is a fabulous wine, big, opulent, rich and round. The extensive winery ageing gives it a mature soft palate, not the racier style you get with younger wines. Lovely flavours of dark fruit with noticeable oak, very smooth of course with a long lingering finish. 

    Free sulphur: 10

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £24.95
  13. Grangehurst Nikela

    John Platter 4.5 Stars

    Grangehurst Nikela is a blend of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Pinotage, 23% Shiraz and 8% Merlot, all fermented separately and aged for 33 months in French oak (97% with 3% American). All Grangehurst red wines are extensively aged before release. This Nikela is a special wine, reflecting Jeremy's passion for Pinotage, using it here to produce an exceptional blend. If you tasted it blind you would be hard pressed to identify any Pinotage in there, as it is a complete wine, absolutely beautiful.

    Free sulphur: 16

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £21.49
  14. Grangehurst Cabernet Merlot

    Platter 4 Stars

    Grangehurst Cabernet Merlot is a great aged Bordeaux blend from Jeremy Walker. Jeremy ages all his wines on site at the winery for many years, and typically only releases them once they're at least ten years old! He is the only South African I know of making wines like this. The results are excellent. Big powerful wines, supoer smooth and fully integrated as the blend has had years to settle. Grangehurst wines are quite an experience and highly recommended. This Grangehurst Cabernet Merlot is full bodied and super smooth, drinking beautifully.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £19.49
  15. Claime D'Or Pinot Noir

    Veritas - Bronze

    "Cranberry fruit with hints of mint and eucalyptus and a touch of oak spice. These flavours also follow through on the palate with gentle tannins and a generous acidity. A perfect match for duck breast or antipasto. ."

    We tasted it out in South Africa and it was superb

    Free sulphur: 35

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £21.95
  16. Boplaas Gamka

    4 1/2 stars Platter Wine Guide

    Michaelangelo Double Gold

    National NWC Double Gold

    Double Gold @ SA Top 100 Wines

    James Suckling – 90 points

    Tim Atkins – 91 points

    Only 7000 bottles produced.

    Lovely wine. Still young of course, with racy acidity and firm tannins. This wine will certainly reward some cellaring but can be enjoyed now if you give it time to breathe and open up. I recommend decanting, ideally for a couple of hours or more to get the best out of it as it really opens up to become super smooth with flavours of plum and damson. I would partner this with barbequed meats or a roast.

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £27.50
  17. Boplaas Ring of Rocks

    TOP 10 red table wine from Portuguese cultivars @ CAPPA Cape Port & Wine Challenge 2013

    Platter 4 Stars

    A super blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Touriga Nacional, the Portuguese grape lending some heat and spice to the red fruits. Smooth and full flavoured, give this wine a try, it's lovely!

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £16.99
  18. Rainbows End Mystical Corner

    Michaelangelo International Wine Awards - Gold

    Rainbows End Mystical Corner is a blend of Shiraz 34%, Malbec 24%, Cabernet Sauvignon 23% and Petit Verdot 19%. It's a great wine as are all Rainbows End wines. Anton is an exceptional winemaker and Rainbows End iis a tiny family winery so they are able to make wines the way they choose rather than to fit a specific commercial market. Hence an unusual blend like this, at a great price which is so high quality it was awarded Michaelangelo Awards highest rank of Double Gold!

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £10.99
  19. Rainbows End Shiraz

    Awaing award info but 2012 and 2013 both won SA Novare Terroir Awards - Best Shiraz from Stellenbosch

    Rainbows End Shiraz has very quickly set the benchmark for quality Shiraz in Stellenbosch and indeed for South Africa. It's a winning combination of top quality wine at a reasonable price. Many of the best and most famous South African red wines fetch a real premium, so for Anton at Rainbows End being a relative newcomer, he has introduced his wines at affodable prices. Not only has his Shiraz won multiple awards each vintage but so has his Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and his blends. Without doubt Rainbows End is one of the best and best value wineries in Stellenbosch.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £14.99
  20. Rainbows End Merlot

    Wine Magazine Merlot Report 2018 – 90 points (Top 8 Merlot achiever in South Africa)

    This is actually slightly misleading as it actually came 2nd, but the classification is "Top 8". It is also listed at some of South Africa's finest restaurants including: Singita, La Petit Colombe, Test Kitchen and Pot Luck Club 

    Rainbows End Merlot is regarded by Neil Pendock of the Platter Guide as one of the best in South Africa, and I have to agree. The 2014 was exceptional as was the 2015. We have just received stock of the 2016. This is also excellent and drinking well, but will improve significantly with a little bottle age. Rainbows End is one of my favourite wineries and this Merlot is one of my favourite wines. This is well worth trying to see for yourself just how good top quality South African Merlot can be.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £14.99
  21. Rainbows End Cabernet Sauvignon

    Old Mutual Wine Show - Gold

    James Suckling - 91 Points

    Michael Fridjon selected the wine as his Cabernet Sauvignon for the World six nations competition in Perth. ( will keep you posted here.)

    Just received stock of the 2016 which has only just been released so only two gold medals so far and no doubt more to follow.

    Rainbows End Cabernet Sauvignon is a fabulous Cabernet. Rainbows End is one of the finest artisan red wine producers in Stellenbosch, and now also makes some very good Chenin Blanc too. Anton Malan's winemaking is exceptional. He puts in a lot of hard work such as handpicking at dawn and manually punching down of the ferment several times a day, which is richly rewarded when you taste his wines. This Cabernet Sauvignon is excellent - powerful and opulent, with weight on the palate balanced by good acidity and a purity that comes from absolute minimal use of additives.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £14.99
  22. Rainbows End Cabernet Franc Limited Edition 2015

    4.5 Stars Platter 

    Rainbows End Limited Edition Cabernet Franc 2015 is the latest vintage release of this single clone Cabernet Franc from Anton Malan. His standard blended Cabernet Franc is a beautiful wine and in my opinion one of his best wines, but this Limited Edition is right up there with it. Slightly leaner with a little more tannin, more European in style.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £17.99
  23. Rainbows End Cabernet Franc

    We have just received fresh stock of the 2016 which has already been awarded:

    SA Novare Terroir Awards - Best SA Cabernet Franc in Stellenbosch 2018 - yet again!

    90 Points by Wine Magazine

    No doubt there will be plenty more awards to follow as this wine is superb and is listed at some of South Africa's finest restaurants such as La Petit Colombe, Jardine, Shortmarket Club. The previous vintage was awarded:

    4.5 Stars Platter 

    SA Novare Terroir Awards - Best South African Cabernet Franc in Stellenbosch 2016

    This Rainbows End Cabernet Franc is fantastic. Anton makes some of the best red wines in Stellenbosch and it is his Cabernet Franc that he is most proud of, believing his vineyards have the ideal microclimate for this variety. Anton also produces other excellent award winning red wines including blends, straight Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, plus a superb Merlot.

    Very pure, medium bodied with red fruit flavours, very smooth and beautifully balanced. Subtle oak ageing for 12 months, then bottled unfiltered to retain all the flavour and natural goodness. Great wine.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £15.98
  24. Rainbows End Family Reserve 2013

    4.5 Stars Platter 

    Rainbow's End Family Reserve 2013 is the latest vintage of the flagship wine from Anton. Again it scored 4.5 stars from Platter. It is a stunningly good wine.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £29.99
  25. Rainbows End Family Reserve 2015

    91 Points James Suckling

    The Family Reserve is the flagship wine from Rainbows End - a superb Bordeaux blend, complex and elegant, really showing how the best South African reds can compete with France and the rest of the world. As well as power and fruit, this wine also has elegance and structure. It's beautifully made - Anton Malan is a superb hands on winemaker.

    Rainbows End is one of my very favourite wineries and is a name to watch out for. I expect Anton will go on to achieve great things in the South African wine world.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £29.99
  26. Cape Chamonix Troika

    Platter 4.5 Stars

    94 Points Tim Atkin

    Cape Chamonix Troika is a great Bordeaux Blend. New world fruit with a slight heat typical of top South African red wines. Very smooth with a long finish. Well worthy of it's five star rating in my opinion.

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £18.95
  27. Tokara Directors Reserve Red

    IWSC Gold

    4.5 Stars Platter

    Top 100 SA Wines

    90 Points Parker

    94 Points Tim Atkin

    92 Points Stephen Tanzer

    Tokara Directors Reserve Red is a lovely Bordeaux blend. Tokara is a large high profile winery on the Helshootge Pass between Stellenbosch and Franschoek, making some good wines in their reserve range. This Directors Reserve red regularly picks up top scores and awards as does the Directors Reserve white. We've been impressed by all their reserve range.

    Full of black and red fruit flavours with some heat typical of South African Bordeaux blends. Good acidity and great overall balance.

    Sulphite level: Medium Low

    John's Rating:

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    £25.99
  28. Jordan Cobblers Hill

    Jordan Cobbler's Hill is the flagship wine from the Jordan estate. A fantastic Bordeaux blend, consistently awarded 4 to 5 stars by John Platter

    Sulphite level: Medium Low

    John's Rating:

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    £23.99
  29. Ernie Els Signature Blend

    Platter 4.5 Stars

    Wine Spectator 93 Points

    The highest rating vintage since 2005

    James Molesworth of Wine Spectator said:

    "a dark, alluring style, with gunpowder tea and warm ganache notes underscoring the core of steeped red and blackcurrant fruit. Features a singed cedar and alder frame, accented by a tobacco hint. Should open up nicely in the cellar. Best from 2017 through 2022."

    Sulphite level: Medium Low

    John's Rating:

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    £43.80
  30. Zevenwacht Tin Mine Red

    Zevenwacht Tin Mine red is a delicious blend combining fruit, spice and a little earthiness. Great with food.

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £11.99
  31. Zevenwacht Z Rhone Blend

    Zevenwacht Z Rhone blend otherwise referrred to as Zevenwacht Z "SGM" (being the initials of the tradional Rhone varietals Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre). This blend of these three varietals is replicated in many new wortld countries these days as it works so well. This Z is the flagship range from Zevenwacht and they've produced a fabulous wine here.

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £19.94

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