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Wines from the Robertson Wine Valley scores highly in Tim Atkin’s 2017 South Africa Special Report

By Alet du Toit
Tim Atkin, known globally as a Master of Wine (accredited by The Institute of Masters of Wine, UK) and one of the most highly esteemed wine journalists and critics in the world, released his much anticipated 2017 South Africa Special Report, now in its 6th edition. All wines were scored out of a possible 100 points and wineries scoring 90 points or more were awarded a Medal of Excellence. We are happy to report that a large number of wineries from the Robertson Wine Valley received this honour.  
Without further delay, below in alphabetical order, are the Robertson Wine Valley wineries’ ratings from this icon in wine.
Arendsig Handcrafted Wines is a 5th generation owned farm and boutique winery where owner and winemaker, Lourens van der Westhuizen, crafts his selection of single vineyard wines which fared exceptionally well in this tasting, obtaining the below scores:
Arendsig 100 Vines Viognier 2016 – 91/100
Arendsig Inspirational Batch 8 Pinotage 2016 – 92/100
Arendsig Inspirational Batch 3 Chenin Blanc 2016 - 92/100
Arendsig Inspirational Batch 7 Pinotage 2016 - 95/100
Arendsig Single Vineyard Chardonnay Block A15 2016 – 93/100
Arendsig Single Vineyard Shiraz Block A12 2016 - 94/100
Bon Courage Estate, an established wine producer in the Robertson Wine Valley were thrilled to have received the following ratings:
Bon Courage Inkara Merlot 2015 - 90/100
Bon Courage Inkara Shiraz 2014 - 91/100
Bon Courage Jacques Bruére Blanc de Blancs 2010 - 94/100
Bon Courage Le Terroir Chardonnay 2016 - 91/100
De Wetshof Estate is known as being a pioneer of South African Chardonnay and it would seem that Tim Atkin agrees as four of their Chardonnays received the honour of scoring 90 points and more:
De Wetshof The Site Chardonnay 2015 - 93/100
De Wetshof Bateleur Chardonnay 2015 - 92/100
De Wetshof Lesca Chardonnay 2016 - 91/100
De Wetshof Bon Vallon Chardonnay 2017 - 90/100
Graham Beck was delighted to announce that the Cuvée Clive 2011 was selected as Overall Sparkling Wine of the Year with a remarkable score of 97 points by Tim Atkin. This is not the first time he has selected the Cuvée Clive as his favourite SA sparkling wine – the 2009 was awarded the same honour in 2015. Graham Beck also obtained above 90 points for five of their other MCCs:
Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs 2012 – 93/100
Graham Beck Brut NV – 91/100
Graham Beck Brut Zero 2012 – 93/100
Graham Beck Brut Rosé NV – 93/100
Graham Beck Brut Rosé 2012 - 94/100
Jan Harmsgat Historical Farms & Guesthouse is situated on the most southern tip of the Robertson Wine Valley and their philosophy on winemaking is simply to create elegant, enjoyable single-block wines. JHG Wines obtained the below ratings from Atkin:
JHG Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 – 89/100
JHG Chardonnay 2014 – 87/100
JHG Chenin Blanc 2016 – 87/100
JHG Pinotage 2015 – 90/100
JHG Sauvignon Blanc 2016 – 87/100
JHG Shiraz 2014 – 90/100
Kleinhoekkloof Wines, a boutique wine farm situated at the foot of the picturesque Langeberg Mountains, excelled with the four wines listed below:
Kleinhoekkloof Petit Verdot 2015 – 91/100  
Kleinhoekkloof ‘Taigh’ Merlot 2013 – 91/100
Kleinhoekkloof Sauvignon Blanc 2016 - 89/100
Kleinhoekkloof Jupiter 2014 – 88/100
Kranskop Wines, a family run winery situated in the mountains of Klaasvoogds also achieved top marks, scoring 90 points for their Kranskop Tannat 2014 and 92 points for their Kranskop Viognier Noble Late Harvest 2016.
Mont Blois Wine Estate possess a rich history dating back to 1869. Here winemaker, Nina-Mari Bruwer lives out her passion of producing site specific wines. This Cape Wine Master’s wines scored the below in what was her first international rating:
Mont Blois Groot Steen Chenin Blanc 2016 – 93/100
Mont Blois Harpie Muscadel 2016 - 91/100
Mont Blois Hoog & Laag Chardonnay 2016 – 93/100
Mont Blois Kweekkamp Chardonnay 2016 - 93/100
Mont Blois Pomphuis Muscadel 2016 - 90/100
Rietvallei Wine Estate, one of the oldest producing wine farms in the Robertson Wine Valley, impressed Atkin, scoring the below:
Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 - 91/100
Rietvallei Estéanna Red,2015 – 92/100
Rietvallei Estéanna White 2016 – 89/100
Rietvallei JMB Cabernet Franc 2015 – 92/100
Rietvallei Sauvignon Blanc 2017 – 89/100
Springfield Estate respects the foundations on which the art of winemaking was built, fermenting 80% of their harvest with native yeast and bottling most of their wines unfiltered. Springfield Estate obtained the scores below from Atkin:
Springfield Estate Life from Stone Sauvignon Blanc 2016 – 92/100
Springfield Estate Special Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc 2016 - 91/100
Springfield Estate Wild Yeast Chardonnay 2016 -  90/100
Weltevrede Wine Estate, a recognized brand and name in the Robertson Wine Valley which has been in the Jonker family since 1912, obtained the scores below from Atkin for five of their wines:
Weltevrede Bedrock Black Syrah 2015 – 85/100
Weltevrede Entheos NV – 86/100
Weltevrede Hardrock Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 – 88/100
Weltevrede Philip Jonker The Ring 2010 – 90/100
Weltevrede Place of Rocks Chardonnay 2016 – 86/100
It should be noted that Atkin determined his scores by conducting in-depth tastings of nearly 1,700 South African wines this year and that only 149 of them were awarded 95 points or more. On his official website (timatkin.com), Atkin reports that South Africa, is “a match for any other New World country in terms of quality and ahead of the field on value”, reiterating that this is truly an exciting time for South African wine. Visit www.robertsonwinevalley.com to learn more about the wineries featured in this article.