Best New Wines from South Africa

In the five years or so since I last offered extensive coverage of South Africa wines in the Wine Cellar the quality of these wines has improved dramatically. As a rule, today South African wines show fresher, more concentrated fruit flavors and more accurate varietal character than ever before. At the top levels, they also show personality. Although giant co-ops still dominate the Cape wine industry, the most distinctive wines shipped to America almost invariably come from small estates. Most of these growers' wines are represented here by two importers: Cape Ventures Company (Stamford, CT) and Cape Classics (New York, NY).