Boela Gerber makes wine at the oldest wine farm in SA (cue howls of outrage from other claimants such as Steenberg etc.) and his Groot Constantia Pinotage 2009, slipped into a tasting of top draw Burgundies last night, confirms just how close SA’s own USP is to the heartbreak grape of Burgundy. Of course it needs to lose all that sweet fruit and outrageously tropical nose to resemble its parent more, but that will surely come with time as happens to dogs and their owners. The secret of Burgundy seems to be one of taking away and that less is more. But as it stands at the moment, Boela’s 2009 is a perfect match for spicy Szechwan food, a fact that should be exploited more given the scores of buses bringing Asian tourists to the oldest wine farm in SA.
Boela reports that sales of his Grand Constance sticky will resume now that the oak presentation box has been replaced by one made from pine, the costs of the initial packaging having run off the scale. He also notes that the spelling mistake – it should read Grande Constance – is not his, but rather a historical reality.
Boela also reports that he has bought several copies of the Wosa Braii Boek as Christmas presents for friends and rellies and wondered what my objection was. I briefly listed three:
1) Wosa is competing unfairly with SA authors in using industry funds for their publication while professing to have no mandate to market wine in SA;
2) Wosa do not have a transparent process for selecting authors to write their various books and blogs;
3) SA consumers are rudely told to buy their own copies of the book at R250 a pop while some UK consumers get it for free.
Boela agreed with my points and we clinked our glasses of Groot Constantia MCC. “Corked?” I offered. And three hours later, Boela agreed with me again.