Does the fruit of “South African Airways’ annual wine judging” process “widely regarded as the most rigorous wine-selection process in the country” (by who? I wonder) fall off the vine tomorrow? Don’t ask me, as if it does, I haven’t been invited. But hopefully some of the luvvies gorging themselves on Wagu cheeks at the One&Only yesterday (One&Lonely, as one wag dubbed it) for the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year feast, will be going. Just hope the venue won’t be the Lonely again as three times in one week would be de trop even for Cape simulation specialists – Cape Legends having held their replay of Kristallnacht with 1000000 glasses kissing 1000000000 pairs of lips [sorry I got my post-event statistics from Mellie’s inadvertently hilarious (now corrected) blog on the event] on Monday night.
So for my reportage, rather than make it all up (as some luvvies do when commenting on events they didn’t attend) I’ll resort to Sawubona, the worst in-flight magazine in the air at any one time (passenger anecdote). The write up for this month’s on-board wines contributes a new chapter to the schoolboy howler annual.
Guy Webber’s Hill & Dale Pinotage 2006 “has a dark ruby colour with purple hedges and aromas of dark berries.” Apply a bit of Franschhoek topiary to the purple hedges and call them $99-a-year purple pages à la Jancis Robinson and include them in the most bizarre tasting notes for an odd-assortment of the USP of SA wine at last month’s WOSA Mega-Tasting in London.
In this the 350th anniversary year of SA wine, it is worth pointing out that “the history of Plaisir de Merle is a story of exceptional people who helped create a proud viticultural heritage that lives on today. Few Cape wine farms can boast a winemaker that [sic] has been around since the beginning and here is perhaps Plaisir de Merle’s trump card.” PdM winemaker Niel Bester looks remarkably fresh and youthful for his age.
Laibach Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 is “a medium bodied wine with quite young tannins and complex almost earthy tannins.” So a case of Siamese Twin (sorry, conjoined) tannins, one could say.
The trio of winemakers behind MAN Vintners [Tyrell Myburgh, José Conde (don’t you just want to type José Condé for symmetry?) and that old billy goat Charles Back] will be keen to meet the fourth member of the trinity, Terryl “the one who is responsible for the wine making.” The MAN vineyards “are located in the Perdeberg hills in Paarl” although calling them “coastal vineyards” is a bit of a bureaucratic stretch. My bet is the fruit came from Lammershoek, who seem to supply the whole of SA with Chenin and other berries besides.
Well it didn’t take SAA long to exact its revenge for this posting. I’m stranded in CPT in the new all-singing, all dancing domestic terminal. No sign of flight SA362 to JHB that was supposed to depart at 17h50 (it’s now 18h30) – nothing on the computer screens, no announcements and no SAA personnel to shout at. What a shambles!