Tim Atkin Mw Special Report 2023 - Boutinot

Tim Atkin’s recently released, influential South Africa 2023 Special Report includes some notable reviews for our producers. In total, 21 wines from the Boutinot range scored 92 points or more, details below, our best results to date.



Le Riche heads the list, taking the ‘Winemaking Legend’ award as well as being named as one of the 25 First Growth’s in ‘Tim’s Cape Classification’ for the first time. 3 Le Riche wines were included in his ‘Wines of the Year’ selection, those with 95 points or more – Cabernet Sauvignon 2021, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2020, with a whopping a 99 points and described as ‘the Latour of South Africa’, and Vogelzang 2014, a special release of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cinsault with six years of bottle age. A small quantity of this will be available around November, please contact Third Floor for details.


Both of Wildeberg’s Semillon-based wines came in for strong praise, scoring 93 points along with the new vintage of Terroirs Chenin Blanc – ‘one of a number of impressive Old Vine Project wines from JD Rossouw’. 3 wines from the Coterie range were rated 91 points or more while the ‘almost ridiculously cheap’ Tea Leaf made its first appearance in the report with 90 points.


Waterkloof saw their highest scores yet in the report, with twelve wines rating 90+. Their most recent addition, the ‘beautifully balanced, refined’ Boreas 2020, a Cabernet Franc dominant Bordeaux blend, scored 94. Circle of Life White 2022 heads a clutch of 93 point wines, following a recent 94 point score in Decanter.


Here’s what Tim had to say….


Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon 2021: “This is “just” the basic Cabernet Sauvignon from Christo Le Riche, but it’s a brilliant wine in its own right. Using grapes from ten different vineyards across Stellenbosch in Firgrove, the Helderberg, Jonkershoek, Raithby and the Simonsberg, it’s a masterclass in blending. Matured in 18% new wood, it’s wonderfully pure and scented, all violet, tar, tobacco leaf and liquorice, with plush yet structured cassis, black cherry and Asian spice flavours and the backbone to age for another decade in bottle” 99 Points


Le Riche Richesse 2021: “Christo Le Riche added 13% Cinsault to his 2021 Richesse to bring what he calls “grace” to this dense, focused blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with 13% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot and 8% Merlot. Savoury, juicy and perfumed, it’s a refined, lightly wooded assemblage with bramble, plum and red berry fruit and underlying grip and backbone.” 92 Points


Wildeberg Coterie Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2022: Wildeberg’s white Bordeaux blend is always one of its finest wines, made with deftly assembled Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. The old vine concentration of the two Semillon blocks is very evident on the palate, giving richness and texture to the blend. Kelp, pink grapefruit and mineral acidity complete the picture. 93 Points


Wildeberg OVP White 2022: “As vineyard sources go, no winemaker would complain about working with parcels that were planted in 1905 (Landau du Val) and 1936 (La Colline). Bready, spicy, textured and intense, it has subtle brown toast and green herb aromas and a palate of lemon, cream and grapefruit. Effortlessly concentrated with very fine 25% new wood.” 93 Points


Wildeberg Terroirs OVP Chenin Blanc 2022: “The Terroirs Chenin Blanc is one of a number of impressive Old Vine Project wines from JD Rossouw. This one hails from a 1977 parcel of decomposed granite in Paarl and has an engaging combination of peach, pear and wet stone flavours, with undertones of saffron, hay and white flowers.” 93 Points


Wildeberg Coterie Grenache Syrah 2022: “JD Rossouw has a real talent for blending varieties, as evidenced by this cuvée of Grenache with 49% Syrah from the Voor Paardeberg and Franschhoek respectively. Fermented with
30% whole clusters, it has bright red fruited flavours of redcurrant and cranberry, a patina of sweet spices and understated oak.” 92 Points


Waterkloof Boreas Bordeaux Blend 2020: “A wine we’ve always wanted to make” is how Nadia Langenegger describes this beautifully balanced, refined Stellenbosch cuvée of Merlot with 33% Cabernet Franc, 19% Petit Verdot and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon. Fresh, floral and detailed, it has sculpted tannins, capsicum, red berry and blackcurrant flavours, rose petal top notes and stylish, deftly judged 10% new
oak.” 94 Points


Waterkloof Circle of Life White 2022: “Sauvignon Blanc based with 41% Chenin Blanc and 10% Semillon, this uses two separate co-fermentations and partial malolactic fermentation. Jasmine and hedgerow scented, it has fresh herb, pear and grapefruit flavours and nuanced 20% new wood. Great value.” 93  Points


Waterkloof Sauvignon Blanc 2022: “Nadia Langenegger puts this ambitious, False Bay-influenced Sauvignon Blanc through malolactic fermentation to tame its chiselled, mouth-watering acidity. Subtly wooded in older barrles, it has lots of pithy grip and intensity, top notes of white flowers and flavours of
grapefruit, gooseberry and gunflint.” 93 Points


Waterkloof Circumstance Cabernet Sauvignon 2020: “A single block on clay and decomposed granite soils is the origin of this unblended CabernetSauvignon from the talented Nadia Langenegger. Showing the concentration of its low yields, it has refined tannins, aromatic 10% new wood, sappy redcurrant, plum and blackcurrant flavours and a fresh, bright, lively finish.” 93 Points


Waterkloof Chenin Blanc 2022: “A single parcel at 280 metres – known as the Pofadder block – supplies the grapes for this whole bunch-pressed Chenin Blanc. Partial malolactic and some new oak add extra layers to a palate of peach and pear, tapering to an elegant, tangy finish.” 92 Points


Waterkloof Circumstance Mourvèdre 2020: “One of very few varietal Mourvèdres in South Africa, the Waterkloof bottling uses grapes from two blocks that are both over 15 years of age. Sappy and intense, it has savoury, grippy
tannins, notes of Campari, plum and Cola and plenty of freshness, zip and energy.” 92 Points


Daschbosch Avon OVP Clairette Blanche 2022:  “One of the great unsung whites of South Africa, this brilliant Clairette Blanche hails from a 0.2-hectare parcel planted in 1977. Showing some stony reduction on the nose, it’s rich,
textured yet balanced with refreshingly low alcohol and flavours of beeswax, apple tart and fresh lemon.” 93 Points


Daschbosch Mossiesdrift Steen 2022: “WS Visagie is very adept at getting the best out of his old vine parcels, fermenting them in old wood to allow the terroir to speak. This Chenin hails from a 1962 parcel that produces focused, pithy wines with a low pH. Pear, nectarine and citrus fruit flavours combine alluringly on the palate, finishing with freshness and minerality.” 93 Points


Daschbosch Skin Contact 2023: “First made in 2019, Skin has rapidly grown to a 6,000-bottle production. Pairing Chenin Blanc with 20% Hanepoot, with fermentation and ageing in a combination of stainless steel and amphoras, it’s a dry, sappy style with subtle blood orange bitterness and notes of green tea, talcum powder and fresh lemons.” 92 Points


Zorgvliet Richelle 2019: “Richelle is a barrel rather than vineyard-based selection that is intended to showcase “mouthfeel and structure” in the words of Bernard Le Roux. Partnering Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Cabernet Franc and 8% each of Merlot and Petit Verdot, it combines flavours of bramble, cassis and coffee bean with svelte tannins and supporting acidity.” 92 Points


Callender Peak Chardonnay 2022: “With climate change more of a challenge in the Cape, so cool, high-altitude areas like the Ceres Plateau are coming into their own. This light-bodied Chardonnay is engagingly fresh and tangy, all struck match, citrus peel and wet stone flavours complemented by some cream from full malolactic.” 93 Points


Vuurberg White 2022: “Donovan Rall’s skill as a blender is evident here on this assemblage of predominantly Chenin Blanc with 12.5% each of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Verdelho and Viognier. Fermented in older wood, it has apple, pear and white peach flavours and jasmine and honeysuckle top notes.” 93 Points


Vuurberg Red 2021: “The Vuurberg red is an unusual combination of equal parts Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot with 10% Cinsault from the Swartland. “Red, not purple” in the words of Donovan Rall, it has aromas of granite and sweet spices, supple tannins, plum, cassis and raspberry fruit and subtle, nuanced oak.” 93 Points

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