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Platter's South African Wines 2012: The guide to cellars, vineyards, winemakers, restaurants and accommodation (February 29, 2012)

book review
by Dean Tudor, www.deantudor.com

Platter's South African Wines 2012: The guide to cellars, vineyards, winemakers, restaurants and accommodation (John Platter SA Wine Guide Ltd; distr. by Wines of South Africa Canadian Office, keenan@propellerpr.com, 618 pages, ISBN 978-0-987-0046-0-4, $30CAD (includes shipping) hard cover), is the recognized authority on South African wines. It has been published for 32 years.

For this latest edition, there are now 15 tasters – all identified, and with initials after tasting notes. Some of the tasters have changed over the years. More than 6000 wines are here evaluated (about 800 are new to this edition), along with new wineries.

One-quarter of all top ranking 5 star wines are now being made by mom-and-pop operations, a remarkable achievement. Even the large co-ops are making more credible, limited collections of superior wine.

The contents of the guide are straightforward: there are chapters on the wine industry, vintages and styles, touring (accommodation and food, all in some 75 pages) followed by some 500 pages of dictionary-arranged wineries, detailing most aspects. To quote, "Wines are entered under the name of the private producer, estate, co-operative winery or brand name of a merchant, and listed alphabetically. Entries feature some or all of: producer's name, address, phone/fax number, email address, website; wine name, colour and style, grape varieties, vintage, area of origin; selected recent awards and star ratings. Where applicable, other attractions to be enjoyed on the property, such as meals and accommodation, are highlighted."

The book also has an indication of organic wines available for sale and sketch maps to show the location of all the wineries. The index at the front is by grape, so you can see at a glance what is the top performing pinotage, or cabernet sauvignon, or sparkler.

Quality/price rating: 91.

 

 

 

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