As part of my WSET preparations I wanted to taste South African white wines, of which I haven’t tried that many yet. I bought two examples from the same producer at a local wine shop. The wines are from False Bay, which are based in the Western Cape region at the Southern tip of the African continent. There, the cooling climate from the seashore allows for the production of fresh wines despite the generally hot climate.
Clear in the glass, slightly darker lemon yellow. Pure and clean on the nose, but somewhat restrained at first. The wine is matured in stainless steel tanks, to my knowledge without long lees ageing. In a larger glass, slightly buttery after a few minutes, with still restrained fruit. Rather low acidity, a little thin overall. Comparatively short finish.
Drink from 2023 through 2025.
Tasted by Dominik Müller on Tuesday, 31 October 2023.
84Wines that have a DM84 to DM86 rating are average on a fine wine level. That means the wines have been produced well, they have no apparent flaws or big imbalances that would put me off. On the other hand, they lack features that make them stand out in a positive way, such as a complex flavour profile or a very elegant tannin structure. Put differently, if offered a glass, I will gladly drink it. I might even have another one. Would I buy a bottle from this category for my own cellar? I might, yes. For example, wines with a DM84 to DM86 rating are usually not too demanding, so they can be a good fit for guests who are beginners to fine wine or very casual drinkers. In the WSET world, wines with a DM84 rating will be at the upper end of a 1.0 WSET score./ 100
1.0Wines with a 1.0 WSET rating are judged as 'average'. In the WSET scoring system, where we consider balance (B), intensity (I), length (L) and complexity (C), these wines managed to get at least one point or two half points in either of these four categories. In terms of my personal rating system, wines with a WSET score of 1.0 tend to have around 83 to 84 DM points./ 4.0
1Wines with a rating of 1 star are below average in their peer group, slightly disappointing./ 5
Jasper Morris of InsideBurgundy.com inspired me to use his 'Five Star Scale' in my tasting notes, too. The limitation of the standard 100-point scale is that in certain appellation hierarchies, such as Burgundy village versus premier cru, the lower-end wines will typically score less than the wines higher up the hierarchy. The five star scale therefore wants to compare a wine to its peers from the same category. It allows for very well-made wines to stand out.
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