Time for the altekakkers and nogshleppers of SA wine to vacate the stage. As one exasperated Distell winemaker exclaimed “how many more times can Razvan appear on the cover of Winelands?” Can we please have some new faces as we’re all heartily sick of Eben, Adi, Callie and Chris, although we do love them dearly. But SA wine is becoming soo boring. Snooze city, actually.
One look at the Diners Club Young Winemaker of the Year finalists (below) confirms they’re a super sexy bunch indeed. But missing from the press release was important information about the finalists: are the married? if so, do they play around? are they looking for a better paid job? will they inherit the farm? sexual orientation? so many questions left hanging! Note to Biggie Smalls Lascaris – time for yet another Diners Club PR company?
The young winemaker finalists (above) are:
Murray Barlow – Rustenberg Wines
Hendrien de Munck – Longridge Wynlandgoed
Attie Louw – Opstal Estate
Emile van der Merwe – Vondeling
Narina Cloete – Quoin Rock
David Sadie – Lemberg
So who is missing, camera shy? Their wines:
RUSTENBERG CHARDONNAY 2012
Very attractive, sweet fruited nose with complex fermentation aromas with citrus, melon and light oak support.
Vibrant, fresh acidity in the mouth with layers of flavour following the nose and grapefruit becoming more
apparent. Creamy flow across the palate. Lots of potential to develop over a number of years to come.
LONGRIDGE CHARDONNAY 2012
Perfume leads the nose followed by white flowers and toasty nuts. Hints of vanilla. Good spectrum of ripe fruit
flavours in the mouth with white peach and hints of citrus. Fine acidic backbone gives good grip. Lots of
potential to develop.
OPSTAL ESTATE CARL EVERSON CHENIN BLANC 2012
Nose bursting with fresh, ripe, tropical fruits with green apple and fresh cut grass. Guava and granadilla come
into play and feature in the ripe, fruited mouth. Crisp, fresh acidity gives all the flavours a lift. Long lasting
finish. Delightful now.
VONDELING SIGNAL CANON CHENIN BLANC 2013
Impressive nose with complex meld of tropical fruit where guava and citrus predominate. All follows through to
a delightfully smooth but vibrant palate. Good fullness of body with some well-developed characters that add
complexity. Delightful now and in the near future.
QUOIN ROCK NICOBAR SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012
Nose opens with delightful blast of fresh sauvignon with gooseberry and lime and hint of fynbos. Big, full,
complex mouth with deep mineral core and firm acidity. Needs time to show its full potential. Gentle hint of fine
oak adds further complexity. Gorgeous now, yet has ample potential to still develop.
LEMBERG LADY 2012
Nose opens with delightful wafts of apricot and ripe peach. Hints of green grass in the background and some
fig and underlying spicy perfume. Fairly full in the mouth with good weight and length. Good acid balance.
Altogether a very different wine that deserves to be recognised. Delightful now yet has legs to develop.
So two Chardonnays, two Chenins, a single Sauvignon Blanc and a white blend of 57% Viognier, 22% Harslevelu, 11% Semillon and 10% Sauvignon Blanc in the line up. Confirming the almost total collapse of Sauvignon Blanc in the SA fine wine arena thanks, in part, to confusing messages put out by the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group [SBIG]. Is Sauvignon Blanc suddenly terminally unsexy?
I’ve even gone so far as to propose a JV with Amorim Cork, whose CEO Joaquim Sa was reaching for the stars last night, below.
The plan is to bottle a decent Sauvignon Blanc (we’ll have to look beyond the tainted FNB Top Ten) with a hollow cork filled with powdered Rennies. After drinking, unscrew the cork and dose yourself with the Rennies to counter heartburn. How will Michael Fridjhon, ageing Wine Lizard and screw cap shill, counter this? For you can’t secret white powders (aspirin, Rennies, cocaine) in a screw cap.