Here at VinExpo Asia they do anti-Platter tastings: blind, as opposed to the sighted model of the major SA wine guide by hundreds of visitors to VinExpo, as opposed to the dozen and a half sacred palates of the Platter tasting team. And they get the correct answer: 2009 Chateau Destieux owned by M. Christian Dauriac (below) who also owns Marianne Estate on the Simonsberg.
The wine was put together by Michel Rolland, the Bordeaux consultant Christian calls “my brother. I’ve never paid him for his input these many years”. Sweetly fruited and perfumed, it is easy to see why this wine was a popular choice. As for the 2010 vintage, Christian calls it “my best in 37 years making wine”.
I mentioned to Christian that we’d soon be intronising Marianne manager Alex Brodbeck into the SA chapter of the Commanderie de Bordeaux. “Great news. Then we can have a serious party to celebrate.”. SA commandeurs wil be hoping Christian brings some 2009 Destieux along with him.
A glorious double rainbow arched over the roof of the Tops at Spar Gugulethu Wine Festival as the sun set over the smoky township yesterday evening. A good omen for the future of SA wine and on Africa Day, nogal. Show co-owner Mzoli Ngcawuzele (below, with a fan) took time out from braaing sausages to thank each producer for fronting up.
While Greece, the birthplace of democracy, is looking increasingly like becoming the graveyard of capitalism, hard pressed Greek consumers can console themselves with having the best rosé and sweet wines in the world as the results from the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, judged earlier this month, confirm:
The smell of rotting snoek is making the UCT Top 20 Wineries poll more fragrant than the pier at Kalk Bay. White, lower middle-class, upper middle-aged voters are scurrying to post their own private Top 20 lists on the net to distance themselves from the debacle. Those revealed to date on the Grape communal blog all contain Nederburg, Platter Winery of the Year in 2011 that couldn’t make the Top 20 this. Mr. Min (so presumably Ma Nolte too) and even self-appointed pollster Tim James all claim to have voted for Nederburg, so perhaps the auditors could comment on the curious omission from the final list or were there election monitors who can attest to the veracity of the poll. Or was it all a scam? Elections are never easy in Africa!
While we wait for Jonah Lehrer’s Imagine: How Creativity Works (Canongate Books 2012) to be discounted by Abebooks.com, the bibliophile’s version of Johan Wegner’s GetWine vinous remainderer, some teasing extracts appeared in The Guardian last week. In particular, I was seized by the analogy of how the left and right brain reproduces a house.
A bear hug from MasterChefSA judge Pete Goffe-Wood on Greenmarket Square on Thursday and a quick discussion about the series. I was initially unsure whether to dodge a Glasgow kiss from Pete after my comments on Tuesday’s braai program but chef, the model of decorum, admitted “we get better as the show progresses.”
This week’s competition is to identify the truly spectacular red blend called DNA, shown below. It has nothing to do with DNA SA the ill-fated “toolkit for marketers that represents WOSA’s thinking on how we should present Brand Wine South Africa, and the vocabulary we should use to project an image of quality” launched in 2009 just as SA wine exports blew up.
Confused terroir message from the makers of Karoo mineral water at lunch today in Stellenbosch. The tagline “origin ~ Paarl” on the front of the bottle contradicts the brand name. But then naming a mineral water after the great thirstland at the red heart of SA is a stretch, anyway. Paarl plonk of-te-not, it certainly washed down the veal sweatbreads this lunchtime at Café Dijon in sweltering Oak City, ably assisted by a 2011 Simonsig Chenin Blanc that was well priced at R70.
Last Tuesday’s tasting at De Grendel, led by CWG lumninary Charles Hopkins, was probably the first ever in which the chemical analysis charges exceeded the price of the wines. Occasioned by the observation that UK wine hacks can identify SA reds blind on their high IBMP content, the workshop attracted most of the Platter planetarium and a few outsiders like yours truly, Mr. Min and even the elusive bald lady Ma Nolte was there.
The future of SA fine wine is unfolding way down south, at Elim, where a quartet of new producers: Strandveld Vineyards, Zoetendal, Black Oystercatcher and The Berrio are making explosive wines to bring tears to the cynical eyes of this Swartland vineyard owner. Wine that will fire an explosive harpoon into the pretentions of many a Swartland Revolutionary, like the one that did for the whale whose jaw bone marks the entrance to the Strandveld cellar. The counter revolution has begun and the gay washing on the strandveld line (below) will soon be replaced by the camouflage of sumcomandante Carrie Adams and her crew as they limber up for a counter attack on some sitting duck wine styles.