Last month Wine Cellar, South Africa’s preeminent importer of Bordeaux wines, held two blind tastings in Johannesburg and Cape Town with 62 leading wine experts to determine South Africa’s most luxurious ultra premium red wine. The number 1 wine by a considerable margin was BOOK XVII 2012! As if we weren’t proud enough, The Black Lion 2012 went on to rank third overall.

Twelve wines that retail for between R500 and R2,150 were served randomly and blind to 41 tasters in Johannesburg and 21 tasters in Cape Town. Each taster was asked to rank the wines according to their own preferences. Tasters were asked to evaluate 12 wines blind in a random order, which was later revealed as oldest to youngest. Tasters were given as much time as required for evaluation and ranking. The determination of ‘highest quality’, ‘best’ or ‘most favoured’ wine was open to interpretation. The criteria for ranking each wine was left up to the taster, with the ultimate aim of finding the most preferred wine in the line-up.

Having ranked first in Johannesburg and second in Cape Town, it impressed the tasters with deep velvety fruit, integrated, rich new oak and a luxuriously long and silky finish… Fittingly, the De Toren Book XVII was the winner using the median, mean and mode!” Roland Peens, CEO Wine Cellar.

To read more about the tasting click HERE.

The justification in the taste comes from the extreme wine making techniques used. BOOK XVII is made for expression UNIQUE utilizing extreme handcrafted viticulture techniques and 200% new French oak (aged for 9 months in new oak and then resubmitted to new French oak again for another 9 months). The oaking regime alone costs R200 per bottle.

There were only 1,111 bottles made of BOOK XVII 2012 and The Black Lion is SOLD OUT. Purchase your allocation of BOOK XVII 2012 by emailing: (limited to 4 bottles per family per year) and only an extremely limited volume are left.