So now the Halloween cat is well and truly out of the bag after the Platter Guide released their annual list of 62 five ★ wines last night at the Vineyard Hotel. The ★★★★★ wines come from a shortlist nominated sighted by the tasters. Aníbal Coutinho and I tasted over 2000 wines blind in their home appellations and came up with a list of 147 ♥♥♥♥♥ wines. Ten differences between the Platter planetarium and our five heart heroes from Neil Pendock’s Winelands Guide 2013 listed here.
Think Platter’s 5* list is a lot better than yours. Sorry.
Well Jamie, it’s one heck of a lot better than your own hopeless Top 100 SA Wines! How many did you taste? As many as 400 I hear.
I seriously doubt if you have tasted most of the wines on my list. Your comment is ignorant and does you no credit.
No Mullineux? No Sadie? No Badenhorst? Did you not taste these wines? I find it very hard to believe your story about pinning down regionality when you don’t have wines – that are clearly worthy of five stars – whose winemakers strive for an expression of regionality.
I very much doubt anybody is upset that you have your own wine guide, but the constant need to deride Platter is tiresome. Shamelessly plugging your book in this column also doesn’t seem quite right.
Do you think the Platter five star wines are not worthy of the accolade? I’d love to hear you explain why, wine by wine rather than the hear the same old, oft-repeated and worn out whine “but platter’s not blind”. We know. That’s how it works, and judging by thw wines I tasted last night, it’s working pretty well.
Wow Neil – amazing list! Thanks.
Interesting. I’m just a wine lover but always thought Platters over rated. Here there are lots of new cellars to visit and affordable wines to taste.
Harry, we only included wines we liked. We don’t know the identities of the ones we didn’t, so don’t know the answer to your questions.
We tasted well over 100 Swartland wines – the tasting was put together by the Swartland Wine Route from WO Swartland wines. We had no input in what was tasted.
I’m not deriding Platter – just pointing out where we differ.
Tasted blind and the truth has come out… La Vierge Noir 2010 Hemel en Aarde Ridge is a beauty! Thanks Neil for the effort in tasting and compilation. cheers Marc
Isn’t it a tad hypocritical to criticise the Top 100 list for only tasting from a small sample of wines when, as you appear to admit, your guide did exactly the same?
You write: “We only included wines we liked. We don’t know the identities of the ones we didn’t”.
This gives the impression that you conducted an exhaustive blind tasting of every, or nearly every, SA wine but only bothered to establish the identities of the ones you liked. The ones that weren’t to your fancy you presumably binned without even bothering to find out who made them.
Is this, in fact, what you did? Doesn’t it indicate a bizarre lack of curiosity on your part?
Also, if this is indeed what you did, how does it square with your boast that you “travelled to appellations and tasted them in situ”.
It is extremely hard for me to imagine that you sat, say, in Jordan’s tasting room, drank some wine, but yet had no idea whose wine you were drinking?
Do please explain further.
As Harry says, your points about the Platter guide’s problems are valid ones. But they are old. And it doesn’t seem to me that your latest offer is any more worthy than theirs.
Thanks for the comment. We did not taste in Jordan’s tasting room. We blind tasted all the Stellenbosch wines presented to us (around 400) by the Stellenbosch Wine Route at their venue.
We tasted well over five times as many wines as Top 100 SA Wines did and we didn’t charge a hefty entry fee.
We do not plan to report on wines we did not like as this is a guide for consumers and not for the industry. We invited producers to attend our tastings and next year plan to make a video of our comments for their feedback.
Where are the negative Platter comments in all of this? I tasted for Platter for five years and on the basis of this experience, do not think sighted is the way to go. It is my opinion and you’re welcome to disagree.
Dear Mr Pendock, just between you and I, when Johnny was alive we tasted everything blind… here is a product I highly recommend for all of your lovely South African wine professionals :
After young Heston’s tampon innovations last week, I do think we might now apply an entirely fresh approach to wine tasting… all power to you Mr Pendock for raising this sensitive subject…
Must dash as I have some puff pastry rising in the oven – ttfn
Neil, it is not *my* top 100 competition. I am just a judge. I have no commercial involvement. But I do think the top 100 results have been pretty good over the last two years, and that the judging of the competition is first rate. But that’s not what we are discussing here. You have put the boot into Platter consistently on your blog, but Platter is a great asset for the SA wine industry IMHO.
Agree that Platter has its uses – I used to taste for them for five years or so. Just that given the current judging line-up of importers, retailers, etc. not fair. SA wine deserves way better.
Did you tell WOSA that you’re not an MW yet?
Did Harry get out of the wrong side of his car this morning? He’s becoming the Whale Cottage of wine!
I think that there is a place for both these guides in the industry. At the end of the day it is all about the promotion of wine as a category and if one or both of these guides get people excited about wine, great!
Have blocked the Trolls on Twitter, so hopefully they’ll pick this up from the blog. The words may present a challenge, but sure they’ll pick up the tune…
I signed Mr Trololo shortly before he passed away early this year.. sadly, his lyrical dexterity will no longer grace the airwaves but I do have this memorable clip from ‘Family Guy’ which allegedly shows assorted wine writers and WOSA board members displaying their vocal prowess…
Perhaps they could enter ‘Choir of the Year’ ?
Any thoughts Mr Pendock ?
Seems that the late lamented Mr. Trololo has been reincarnated as the Feltham freebie fiend, Jamie Goodie.