Cellar notes #51: The best of South Africa

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The most eagerly awaited section of the annual John Platter South African Wine Guide is the list of the tiny handful of top wines awarded five stars from among the 4,000 wines tasted by the experienced Platter team.

The most eagerly awaited section of the annual John Platter South African Wine Guide is the list of the tiny handful of top wines awarded five stars from among the 4,000 wines tasted by the experienced Platter team. 17 wines were awarded the Cape Classic accolade in the 2005 edition, available in the UK in early December from selected book shops, and www.platteronline.com. Those with UK stockists (current or due in) are:

Sauvignon Blanc: 2004 Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2004, around £12.75, SWIG, Sainsbury's, John Armit Wines.

Chenin Blanc: 2003 Jean Daneel Wines Signature Chenin Blanc, around £16.99, Jeroboams, Harvey Nichols, Wimbledon Wine Cellars.

Semillon: 2003 Cape Point Vineyards Semillon, around £13.50, SWIG.

Chardonnay: 2003 Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay, around £13.99. 2003 Jordan Winery Nine Yards Chardonnay Reserve, around £17.50, Laytons, Connollys.

Dry White Blends: 2002 Vergelegen Estate White, £19.95-£22, Stone, Vine & Sun, SWIG.

Red Blends: 2002 Ernie Els, around £45, Abbey Wines, SWIG. 2001 Kaapzicht Estate Steytler Vision, around £18, SH Jones, Great Grog. 2001 Rust en Vrede Estate Wine, around £22, Hedley Wright, Great Grog.

Pinot Noir: 2003 Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir, around £17.99, Oddbins, Avery's.

Syrah / Shiraz: 2002 Boekenhoutskloof Syrah, around £25, Handford, Laytons, SWIG, Harrogate Fine Wine Co, Oddbins Fine Wine, Stokes Fine Wines.

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