The big winner at tonight’s SAA Wine List Awards was Anura, a producer whose name is Greek for “no tail” which is the amphibious order of frogs. The Klapmuts winery won both trophies given by the two leading ladies of SAA (“no tails” in League of Gentlemen-speak): the Cheryl Carolus trophy for biggest volume supplier to the airline and the Siza Mzimela trophy for most listings. At least SA Airways are only losing their tails unlike Qantas who have grounded all their kangaroos and aircraft.
Over 1000 wines were entered for selection for onboard service from 167 producers and there were several turn-ups for the books:
• The white wine trophy went to a 2011 Sauvignon Blanc from a producer I’d never heard of: Driehoek (triangle) in the Cederberg;
• A 2007 vintage Sauvignon Blanc from Bellingham was selected for Premium Class service in 2012 as were two 2009 vintage Sauvignon Blancs, which flies in the face of conventional wisdom that Sauvignon Blanc should be drunk in the year of the vintage. Heck some supermarkets are already clearing their shelves of 2010 vintage Sauvignon Blanc;
• The judges really loved Sauvignon Blanc, selecting as many different brands (four) for economy class (or cattle class as the MC humorously dubbed it) as all other white cultivars and blends combined.
Master of Ceremonies Bennie Howard suggested the new wines be showcased on the new route to Beijing. Which makes total sense as the frog spirit, Ch’ing-Wa Sheng, is associated with healing and good fortune in business. Something the national airline and SA wine industry could do with at the minute.
Interesting remark regarding Driehoek. They seem to have be making a bit of a name for themselves. Emile did a bit of a review of their Shiraz a while back and gave them a glowing review. Wines all made by David Nieuwoudt, vineyards all above 1000m, very unique location…a real case of terrior. Haven’t come across the wines myself, will certainly give them a try when I do.
Pity the 2012 wines were not served at the awards dinner – we had to make do with the 2011 selection and there were a couple of shockers!