Crystallum and Gabriëlskloof triumph in Tim Atkin's South Africa 2019 Report

Tim Atkin MW has published his seventh annual South Africa Special Report and is “still convinced that the best Cape wines are world class and represent outstanding value for money. Ever creative, ever evolving, the wine industry continues to surprise and delight me.”

The Crystallum Bona Fide Pinot Noir 2018 (96 points) and Cuvée Cinéma Pinot Noir 2018 (95 points) both make Tim’s ‘Pinot Noirs of the Year’ list, while their Clay Shales Chardonnay 2018 (95 points) is among Tim’s ‘Chardonnay of the Year’ picks and the Gabriëlskloof The Landscape Series `Syrah on Sandstone` 2017 (95 points) is one of his Syrah wines of the year.

Tim also classifies the Cape’s best producers into six categories (loosely based on the 1855 Bordeaux Classification) each year, awarding First Growth status to Crystallum and Second Growth to Gabriëlskloof, while Fairview and Spice Route are included in the larger ‘Cru Bourgeois’ group.

Please see below for Tim's reviews of our four 'wines of the year'. The full South Africa 2019 Special Report can be purchased from

Crystallum, `Bona Fide` Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir 2018, South Africa
Pinot Noirs of the Year
96 points
Plush, rich and showing the texture of its clay shale soils, this has considerable presence and depth.

Crystallum, `Cuvée Cinéma` Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir 2018, South Africa
Pinot Noirs of the Year
95 points
The freshness and perfume that are typical of wines from the Ridge, this has notes of cinnamon spice, rose petal and wild strawberry and a refreshing, saline undertone.​

Crystallum, `Clay Shales` Hemel-en-Aarde Chardonnay 2018, South Africa
Chardonnays of the Year
95 points
Foudre-fermented, this is all about fruit, structure and texture rather than oak. Precise, focused and beautifully weighted, with beeswax, citrus and crème fraîche flavours.

Gabriëlskloof, `Syrah on Sandstone` Bot River 2017, South Africa
Syrahs of the Year
95 points
This 40% whole bunch-fermented Syrah is floral and refined with white pepper aromas, granular tannins and a fresh, satisfying finish. Scented and very pure.