The annual Top 100 picks from the US Wine Enthusiast magazine makes curious reading for SA producers. I spotted five SA wines in the top 100 with three made from Chenin (Beaumont 2010 Hope Marguerite at #64, Jean Daneel 2010 Signature at #77 and De Morgenzon 2010 at #84) which surely confirms the quality dominance of Chenin in the national cellar. At least for US palates – all good news for Charles Banks who has identified Chenin as the SA wine for the US market. All the Enthusiast SA picks are from the 2010 vintage and all are dry whites, which makes me think the 15,500 these Enthusiasts tasted were a biased sample, especially as 2009 was the vintage of the millennium so far and SA does make red, bubbly and some excellent pudding wines and fortifieds.
Still back to the Famous Five, what a pity that the Bizoe Henrietta 2010 Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc (#81) I was sent was corked worse than the outside of a Space Shuttle! But nice to see Anthony Hamilton Russell’s Chardonnay 2010 slipping in at #90 as the “Hemel” in the appellation’s name Hemel en Aarde, applies to the wine.
The utter foolishness of WOSA’s plan to show SA wine in London next year alongside Chile and Argentina is confirmed by the observation that the #1 Enthusiast wine is a Riglos 2009 red blend which hails from Mendoza and is lauded for a bouquet of “bath oils.”
Speaking of Kama Sutra sipping positions, had to cringe when I saw WOSA CEO Su Birch pop up at #48 in a Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Wine feature in Drinks Business behind a whole gang of fragrant nonentities. Faint praise indeed in a useless poll and good on Su for not divulging her age (unlike the other desperate power poppies) and how rude of DB for asking. Let’s hope WOSA didn’t treat any DB hacks to a Cape Wine 2012 jolly, as this kind of transparent personal pay back would be bad value indeed for SA wine marketing. How embarrassing!
PS. Oh dear, it appears that the author of DB’s sexist list that has generated heated charges of sexism from the industry, Lucy Shaw, was a guest at Cape Wine 2012 as she is a trophy in WOSA’s Cape Wine 2012 press room. A cynical SA producer might ask is this what Cape Wine 2012 was all about then, personal aggrandisement for WOSA functionaries, which is certainly not fair to Su.
Hi Neil I’m curious as to why you think it’s foolish to show with the South American countries. I’m very familiar with these wines and at the ‘value’ end you might have a point, especially considering Chile’s strength at that level. In the middle tier where especially SA and Argentina perform best, SA will wipe the floor with our whites. Reds from all three countries have very specific profiles and I don’t believe one to be producing ‘better’ wines than the other but they certainly cater to very different tastes.
UK market is price driven. Chile will kill us on whites, Argentina on reds. Makes no sense at all.