What I Drank Last Night
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Cos d’Estournel 2003

Top gun.

Top gun.

Who’s shaping the debate when it comes to wine quality in South Africa? Wine magazine ceased publishing in September 2011 and Platter’s is surely at some kind of crossroads (it’s disconcerting that the 2007 vintage of Vin de Constance from Klein Constantia didn’t even get nominated for 5 Stars in the guide despite eRobertParker.com taster Neal Martin scoring it 97 on the 100-point scale).

The Wine Tasting Academy was begun by leading wine critic Michael Fridjhon in 2007 to help raise the standard of local wine judging and this year was the first time an advanced course was offered, 14 of the top performing delegates to date gathering to examine the issues of the day and refine ideas of wine quality.

Held over 24 and 25 January at the Grand Roche in Paarl, those attending got to see how highly regarded local wines compared to international benchmarks.  Meinert CWG Scholtzenhof Grande Chenin 2000 (the prototype of FMC) next to 2003, 1983 and 1973 Marc Bredif Vouvray for instance or Kanonkop Paul Sauer 1995 referenced against  1966, 1970, 1975, 1985, 1989 and 2003 Saint Estèphe second growth Cos d’Estournel.

A vital opportunity to debate issues of not only inherent worth but also style that simply doesn’t happen often enough.

Comments

  1. Hi Christian,

    Klein Constantia is launching a very good SB, a JV between KC and Pascal Jolivet from Sancerre. Soon to be bottled. Its called Metis, or half blood.
    The label is half a Protea and half an Iris. Its a cracker of a label, but not as good as the wine!
    The result of our design work is our first French wine estate, that of Pascal Jolivet. He has asked At Pace to look at his labels. Large chest this morning, most chuffed!
    Hope all is well your side,

    John P

  2. Christian my man, you’re the man. Do it.

  3. And….? You can’t leave us hanging on that :-)

    • Christian says:

      The Meinert CWG Scholtzenhof Grande Chenin 2000 and the Kanonkop Paul Sauer 1995, up against some tough competition, were my two standout South African wines. In general, SA whites again more inclined to greatness than reds. Current-release Bordeaux-style red blends seem particularly over-wrought – massive fruit concentration and intrusive tannins. If these wines were once thin and weedy, we seem to have gone too far the other way.

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