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  • Writer's pictureSarah du Plessis

Breaking News: Tim Atkin MW awards 6 Kershaw Wines 95+ scores

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

From Grape to Glass: The Journey of the 6 Kershaw Wines that Scored 95+ with Tim Atkin MW...

I am thrilled to share with you some fantastic news! Six of our wines have been honoured with a score of 95 or above from the renowned wine critic, Tim Atkin MW in his South Africa Report 2023. This is an achievement that I'm incredibly proud of, and I'm excited to delve into the details with you.

Let's start with a little context for those of you who might not be familiar with the name Tim Atkin. Tim Atkin is not just a wine critic, he's a Master of Wine (MW), an award-winning wine journalist, and among the most respected voices in the global wine industry. A score of 95+ from Tim is a testament to the quality of Kershaw Wines.

“When a wine scores 95 or above in my book, it's not just outstanding, it's superlative. A true testament to the winemakers’ skill and dedication.” - Tim Atkin MW

Inside the Mind of a Wine Critic: Understanding Tim Atkin's Scoring System

For those of you less familiar with wine scores, they essentially grade the wine out of 100. A score above 95 is considered 'outstanding', putting our wines in the top echelon of wines worldwide.

The wine scoring system is, in essence, a way to grade wine on a scale up to 100. This numerical rating offers a quick, digestible overview of the quality of the wine. It's akin to a report card for wine if you will.

It's important to remember that these scores are not set in stone. Different critics may rate wines differently, and personal taste plays a significant part in the enjoyment of wine.

Click here for more on wine scoring.

Wondering which of our wines made the cut? Here is the list:

2021 Deconstructed Kogelberg Ironstone CY548 Chardonnay – 95 points

2021 Deconstructed Kogelberg Sandstone CY76 Chardonnay – 95 points

2021 Deconstructed Kogelberg Sandstone PN115 Pinot Noir – 95 points

2020 Deconstructed Lake District Cartref SH22 Syrah – 95 points

2021 Deconstructed Lake District Bokkeveld Shale CY96 – 96 points

2020 Deconstructed Lake District Cartref SH9c Syrah – 96 points

Let's dive a little deeper into these wines and what makes them stand out, earning them this prestigious recognition.

Unveiling the Wines that Received 95+ Scores from Wine Critic Tim Atkin MW

2021 Deconstructed Lake District Bokkeveld Shale CY96

Tim's Comment: The Burgundian CY96 clone tends to produce pithier and more focused wines, and that's the case here. Savoury, spicy and stony, it has plenty of structure from shale soils, impressive grip and focus and a tangy, mouth-watering palate embellished by perfumed 50% new wood. 2024-30.

Richard's Comment: Only 2 barriques made, 100% new oak.

Chamomile yellow with enchanting perfume showing lucerne, lemon leaves, jasmine and a touch of honeysuckle. Medium-bodied, texturally pithy and saline with a mineral-edge acidity, the mid-palate opens to lime peel, lemon grass, green melon pieces with dried ginger and apple strudel. The flavours penetrate this broader structured wine that is itself lifted with an aromatic infusion. The back palate returns with a pastiche of citrus fruits, lemon meringue pie and desiccated almonds that extend into an elongated finish.

2020 Deconstructed Lake District Cartref SH9c Syrah

Tim's Comment: Missing in action, but back in 2020, this wonderful Syrah uses grapes grown on mixed granite, quartz and sandstone soils. Fermented with 20% whole bunches - rare for Richard Kershaw MW - it has notes of white pepper and iodine, savoury tannins and flavours of bramble red berries and sun-dried tomato. Complex stuff. 2024-30.

Richard's Comment: Only 2 barriques made, 70% new oak.

Mid-Ruby, the intense aromas display black pepper, dark berries, roast meat, hung game, star anise and some gentle feral characters.

Medium to full-bodied, the Cartref SH9c radiates breed and elegance. The plush textured mid-palate is coated with fleshy blackberry, mocha, clove-studded oranges, Lucerne flowers, ground black pepper, liquorice and wafts of sandalwood, all supported by a firm acid that provides structure.

Amazingly lifted and pure with notes of orange peel, Cinzano and roasted herbs, the wine finishes long and penetrating. Very attractive right now, the wine shows a depth of flavour and layers of complexity. The finish signs off with gentle spices and a surprisingly delicate farewell. The tannins are dense and finely woven.

2021 Deconstructed Kogelberg Ironstone CY548 Chardonnay

Tim's Comment: CY548 is what Richard Kershaw MW calls the "Corton-Charlemagne clone", so you’d expect it to produce classy wines in the right hands. This has a lovely sense of restrained power, with notes of struck match, patisserie spices, lemongrass and clementine and stylish 50% new wood. 2023-27.

Richard's Comment: 2 barriques made, 100% new oak.

Lemon chiffon in colour showing citrus oil, lime, lemon cream biscuits and apple blossom.

The entry is grippy with brisk acidity and saline, crushed rocks texture. There is some breadth and flesh in the mid-palate, showing flavours of orchard fruit, apricot cream, toasted almonds and a touch of oatmeal and wintergreen. The oak is subtle but adds a comforting softness to the back palate, augmented by quarry dust, mineral and salted lemons. Long length from a wine will take another 3-5 years to show its colours.

2021 Deconstructed Kogelberg Sandstone CY76 Chardonnay

Tim's Comment: This is the second vintage of this stylish Chardonnay, showcasing what Richard Kershaw MW calls the "broader" CY76 clone. Hazelnut and gunflint aromas segue into a palate that's buttery, creamy and complex, with nuanced 50% new wood and appealing underlying zip. 2023-29.

Richard's Comment: Only 2 barriques made, 50% new oak.

The initial nose is subdued and requires coaxing to release orange blossom, kumquat and apricot. Seaspray, mineral and dried lemon peel join them.

With a direct, freshness on the entry, the CY76 has vibrant acid and a grippy-mineral texture permeating through the wine, fleshed out with tangerine flesh, orange oil and resin notes. A certain pithiness extends into the mid-palate as sea spray, tidal pool, and heady notes carry the wine into a persistent finish. A sublime balance of riper citrus fruits against mineral and seashell textures.

2021 Deconstructed Kogelberg Sandstone PN115 Pinot Noir

Tim's Comment: The best of the Kershaw Pinot Noirs, this sandstone-sourced red is all made with the Burgundian 115 clone. A perfumed, violet and potpourri nose segues into a palate that has some bloody, ferrous grip, notes of pepper and fresh meat, sinewy tannins and refreshing mineral core. 2024-30.

Richard's Comment: : Only 2 barriques made, 50% new oak.

Light to medium cerise; intense and attractive aromas of strawberry, Bing cherry, orange peel and dark chocolate. The perfume lingers into the palate as the entry is medium-bodied, juicy, ripe and silky-textured. A pulsating acidity coated by fleshy red plums, cherry compote and tinned strawberry. Intermingled are wisps of incense, almost peat notes from an earthier wood content giving a beguiling interplay of wood and fruit. Complex with excellent concentration, the wine has a crushed velvet tannin and persistency that lingers on for many minutes.

2020 Deconstructed Lake District Cartref SH22 Syrah

Tim's Comment: The SH22 clone tends to produce feral, meatier, gutsier Syrahs and that's the case here in 2020. White pepper, tapenade and cooked meat flavours are supported by layered, sinewy tannins, a touch of stony reduction, scented 80% new wood and a bright, refreshing finish. 2024-30.

Richard's Comment: Only 2 barriques made, 80% new oak.

Deep red cherry colour, the floral-tinged aromas are intense, showing white pepper, sea kelp, roasted meat gorse bush and sandalwood notes.

Medium-bodied and dry with a purity of fruit, there is a beautiful line of salt-edged acidity. Firm, integrated, gently grippy tannins push this concentrated vertical wine along. Flavours include liquorice, dried fig, roasted meat spices, pepper and dark berries.

The wine is ethereal with a Pinot-style angle, lifted and bright with a compact structure and an extended dry finish.

Our Other Scores:

  • 2020 Deconstructed Groenland Bokkeveld Shale SH9c Syrah - 94 Points

  • 2020 GPS W.O: Klein River Syrah - 94 Points

  • 2020 Clonal Selection Elgin Syrah - 94 Points

  • 2021 Clonal Selection Elgin Pinot Noir - 94 Points

  • 2021 Deconstructed Lake District Bokkeveld Shale CY95 Chardonnay - 94 Points

  • 2021 GPS Cape South Coast Sauvignon Blanc Semillon - 93 Points

  • 2021 GPS Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge Pinot Noir - 93 Points

  • 2021 Clonal Selection Elgin Chardonnay - 93 Points

  • 2021 GPS Lower Duivenhoks River Chardonnay – 92 pts

Find Your Next Favourite Wine:

While it's true that these highly-rated wines have not yet been released for purchase, don't let that dampen your spirits. We have a fantastic selection of wines already available that have previously earned impressive scores from Atkin. These bottles offer a taste of the quality and refinement you can expect from our upcoming releases.

Don't miss your chance to experience these acclaimed vintages for yourself. Here are some of our highly-rated wines from previous reports that you can get your hands on right now:

2018 Deconstructed Lake District Cartref SH22 Syrah

Tim Atkin - 96 Points

Neal Martin (Vinous) - 96 Points


2019 Kogelberg Sandstone PN777 Pinot Noir

Jancis Robinson - 18/20 Points (highest score ever given to a South African Pinot)

Tim Atkin - 94 Points


2019 Valley Ridge Gravel Over Clay PN777 Pinot Noir

Jancis Robinson - 17.5+/20 Points

Neal Martin (Vinous) - 95 Points

Tim Atkin - 94 Points


2019 Clonal Selection Elgin Chardonnay

Platter 5*

Jancis Robinson - 17/20 Points

Tim Atkin - 94 Points


2019 Clonal Selection Elgin Pinot Noir

Platter 5*

Tim Atkin - 93 Points


2018 Clonal Selection Elgin Syrah

Jancis Robinson - 17.5/20

Tim Atkin - 93 Points

Have you had a chance to taste any of these wines? Which one was your favourite?


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