High-score bonanza for Boplaas wines and ports in Atkin report
Boplaas Family Vineyards has emerged from an industry-wide lockdown on a high having received news it garnered top honours in an internationally-followed assessment of South African wines.
The annual report is compiled by acclaimed UK Master of Wine Tim Atkin who produces similar analyses on every major winemaking region of the world. As such, they are a highly regarded, international perspective on the quality of wines.
No stranger to its august pages, the Calitzdorp winery fell squarely within its limelight this year with five wines and ports rating 90/100 points and up.
Significantly, the spread of awards across Boplaas’s portfolio highlights its excellence across styles and price points. It also represents a victory for traditional Portuguese grape varieties and styles in which Boplaas is renowned as a specialist.
Leading the way in the report was a stalwart of the Boplaas stable – the Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2018, which received 94 points. The Boplaas Gamka Red 2017, a red blend of Portuguese varieties, received 92 points; the white blend Boplaas Gamka Branca 2018 received 91 points; and, the Boplaas Cabernet Sauvignon Family Reserve 2017 and Boplaas Touriga Nacional 2019 scored 90 points each.
A good portion of fruit in these wines hails from cool climate vineyards that Boplaas selected from across the Cape Winelands. The first of these was identified towards the end of the 1980s, in the Southern Cape near the Outeniqua Mountains.
More insight to Atkin’s top picks from Boplaas
- Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2018
The 2018 vintage continues the Nel family heritage of crafting the very finest Cape fortified wines utilizing Portuguese varieties, traditional vinification and dedication to style, to create wine that will offer decades of enjoyment.
Boplaas owner Carel Nel pioneered the production of ports exclusively from Portuguese varieties, in the traditional drier style. The first time the farm won the SA Champion Port Trophy was 1986 and since then, it has claimed the title 11 times.
- Boplaas Gamka Red 2017
Gamka means “lion” and was what the indigenous Khoisan people named the river that originates in the Great Karoo, passes through the Swartberg Mountains and passes by the Boplaas farm.
The wine was made from hand harvested, old vine Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Barocca. Fruit was fermented in traditional lagars or open-top cement fermenters. Among its accolades was a rating of 4½ stars in the latest Platter’s South African Wine Guide.
- Boplaas Gamka Branca 2018
This white blend was crafted from a diverse selection of varieties, vineyards and sites to highlight the intrepid nature of Cape wine. This third vintage combines the Portuguese variety Verdelho – a recent addition to the Boplaas plantings, but one which has a bright future – with cool climate Chardonnay; exotic Viognier; Stellenbosch Grenache Blanc; and, Roussanne, along with old dry-land bush-vine Swartland Steen.
The barrel fermented and matured wine displays an exotic blend of citrus blossom, tangerine and lime marmalade, toasted oats and ripe pear. It has mild tannic grippiness and long saline finish, with undertows of subtle white spice, preserved lemons and melon.
It can be confidently aged for the next half-decade or more. Decant in its youth and accompany with rustic fare, fresh seafood, soft cheese and charcuterie.
- Boplaas Cabernet Sauvignon Family Reserve 2017
This wine was crafted with an Old-World approach and shows ripe tannins, elegance and balance. It is deserving of cellaring, having been made from the finest terroir the Cape has to offer – Stellenbosch.
- Boplaas Touriga Nacional 2019
Rightfully regarded as the crown of Portuguese vines, the hardy Touriga Nacional with its small dark berried bunches, penchant for low-yields and fulsome tannins, enables thoughtful winemakers to craft powerfully elegant wines with incredible longevity. Touriga Nacional is the foundation of the finest fortifieds and some of the world’s most exciting wines coming out of Portugal.
All these wines and more are available via Boplaas’s online shop at www.boplaas.co.za. Boplaas ships all over SA, free of charge if a purchases totals more than R1 500 or 12 bottles.