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Drought! But superb 2017s

Drought! But superb 2017s

At the time of writing, in the midst of the 2018 harvest, South Africa faces its fourth consecutive year of drought. I contemplated postponing my post-harvest trip, yet in many ways it’s more important than ever to go early, both to show support and secure what we need.

2017 turned out to be a superb vintage, against the odds, for both whites and reds, with some saying the reds are better even than the excellent 2015s and 2009s. With experience, winemakers are better at dealing with the drought using precious water more thoughtfully than ever. Unsurprisingly, it is those with a ready source of water who have fared best. The estates have full control of their resources and are best placed to ride the storm (if you’ll forgive the irony!), as well as the cooler regions such as Elgin and Walker Bay and its subsidiaries, and those with long-term relationships with their grape growers.

We will buy older vintages where we can, to cover the shortfall in wine and incomes. Enjoy those stellar 2015 and 2009 vintages, as well as the wonderful new 2017s. Trade up, even a little, and you will be getting far better value. The best thing we can all do is to hope that when we are bathed in sunshine at our summer AGM, the Cape will be enjoying much-needed winter rains!

Joanna Locke MW
2018

Joanna Locke MW

Joanna Locke MW
Buyer for South Africa

2018



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