The gods of synchronicity seem to have it in for Platter. The morning that Platter Associate Editor Tim James puts the boot into WINE magazine (or WNE as he economically prefers to call it) on his Plattering Blog, suggesting that “Distell-related wines, with their somewhat unsexy image, get a better chance in Platter!”), was the same morning the results for WINE’s Shiraz Challenge clatter into my inbox.
Exclamation mark, indeed!, as Nederburg comes top (made by the brilliant Razvan Macici, a winemaker as exciting as Gogol Bordello) while Stellenzicht and Lomond are in the top five. Tim’s little rant couldn’t be more off-message: “it occurs to me to wonder whether Wine mag bothers to taste Neethlingshof in its ten-years-on tastings. Probably it’s not a fancy enough producer. (Whatever some Distell winemakers think, and are gleefully reported by Wne’s editor as thinking, I suspect these Distell-related wines, with their somewhat unsexy image, get a better chance in Platter!)”
Of course Razvan is the “some Distell winemaker” in the above, as he told WINE editor Christian Eedes “I’m considering withholding my wines from being reviewed in Platter’s. The Distell marketing machine will probably force my hand but I really believe we don’t get a fair appraisal in the guide – we’re perceived as too big, and the tasters have lost respect for what we do…”
Digging himself even deeper into a hole, Tim then goes on to suggest yet another spurious advantage of sighted over blind wine assessment – the fact that a sighted wine may be tasted “over three days.” As can a wine tasted blind. To paraphrase Nick Cave “dig, Tim, dig!!!”