The weekend’s CWG Auction with sales down 25% beat last month’s Nederburg (up 41%) in one important department: column centimeters of coverage as the bibulous blogosphere erupts like a Supernova. Even deadtree media shook the odd arthritic branch, although Spier owner Dick Enthoven will not be best pleased with the headline on the Business Day site “Recession knocks quarter off Spier sales.” Spier was merely the auction venue and the Spier Merlot 2008 of Frans Smit achieved a respectable average of over R200 a bottle.
But then Katy Chance’s story had more than a couple of schoolgirl howlers, like claiming Kanonkop as “a first time guild member” when it is actually a stalwart and misspelling newbie Andries Burger’s name Berger. But then Andries has lost so much weight, his dashing new Hollywood appearance does make him look like a New Man.
Katy’s claim that “South African wine buyers showed they are still not swayed by overseas approval, as many wines that received 90 points or more (out of 100) by international commentators James Molesworth and Stephen Tanzer fetched significantly lower prices than wines deemed worthy by the local market” is less easily explained away.
A local panel consisting of yours truly, Katy’s Business Day colleague Michael Fridjhon, Christian Eedes, Christine Rudman and Mail&Guardian Cock Screwed columnist Tim James tasted the CWG Auction wines blind last month and our runaway winner was The Yair 2009 white blend made by Nicky Versveld from David Tullie’s Darling grapes which managed to achieve the lowest average price on auction. You can’t invent this material.
This unfortunate truth somewhat undermines the suggestion made by Christian that “independent critics” get involved in the selection of wines for the auction. Or maybe the lesson is to let the famous five choose the wines and then select the ones not chosen as auction fare.
I bought four cases of The Yair! Anyone interested in a case?
What price per bottle are you looking for, Lauren?
I was very impressed with the Yair, loved the intense savouriness esp for a white,
Lauren let know how much you want!
can we believe the bids where real? kanonkop, le riche have pedigree. who bid for the wine and can we see who bid R4500 a case, up almost R1500 a case, I think, from last year????
If you knew anything about ‘deadwood media’ you would know that the writer doesn’t get to write the headline; this is unfortunate as I believe this one was a clanger. By the way, why do you denigrate paper-based media so much when you so triumphantly claim your allegiance with Sunday Times, Financial Mail (which you do not write regularly for) and Wine Magazine?
**** Enthoven is more than capable of calling me to discuss it.
The Kanonkop comment is indeed a howler.
But you seem to misunderstand my comment about some of the wines – you specifically single out The Yair.
The wine, too, was one of my favourites and picked by all local critics as well – and this is key, as per my story – by Tanzer and Molesworth who gave it 92 and 90 respectively.
The fact that it averaged R643 per case shows that local buyers often don’t care what international critics – or local, for that matter – think.
Have a nice day Neil, it sounds like you need one to sweeten your mood.
You are perhaps unaware that writers don’t get to write their own headlines, which is a pity, for I agree that this one was a clanger. **** Enthoven is welcome to email me about it, indeed, I wish he would.
You seem to have little understanding of how deadwood media works – which begs the question why you trimphantly claim your allegiance to deadwood titles Sunday Times, Financial Mail (which you no longer write regularly for) and Wine Magazine. Interesting, no?
If the Kanonkop inclusion was a howler, I apologise – to them, not you.
You also seem to misunderstand my comment about international ratings and prices. Yes, both international and local critics rated The Yair highly, and quite rightly in my opinion – however, the fact that it averaged just over R100 a bottle shows that local buyers really don’t care what other people have to say about wine. As ever, they’ll speak with their wallets.
Warmest regards and I do hope your day improves Neil
I’ve been trying to send this about four times to no avail – goodness but this digital thing is hard!
Firstly, I couldn’t agree more with you about the headline. As you don’t know, in deadwood media writers don’t get to write their own headlines, which is clearly why we get clangers like this one. **** Enthoven is more than welcome to call me about it.
By the by, why do you denigrate deadwood media so much while triumphantly claiming your allegiance (and platform to fame) in your ‘blurb’ to Sunday Times, Financial Mail (who you no longer write for regularly) and Wine Magazine? Strange, no?
The Kanonkop howler is mine and thus my bad.
But you seem confused about the prices realised and critical ratings.
The Yair quite rightly got a 90 and 92 from the international crowd and was highly rated by local critics – however local BUYERS rated it with their wallets, paying an average of R643 a case for it. You have conflated local buyers with local critics. That is, you have conflated the common man with yourself – which is patently silly.
Have a nice day Neil.
Katy, all is forgiven, I to struggle with the damn postings. I like the fact that it makes D i c ks nam a xxxx.
that should read name! boy it is tough.