“4 Star Dombeya – R21” said the subject line from AJ@salewine.co.za this morning and for a moment I’d thought he was adding to Michael Fridjhon’s human misery after the impresario opined in Business Day recently “when a South African wine retails for less than R25, it can be made only on a truly industrial scale and generally at the cost of human misery – such as underpaid farm labourers or growers becoming ever more impoverished. Since there is a great deal available in the marketplace at this price point, it is clear that not all the wine business is joy and bonhomie.”
We’ll probably have to wait for FNB Private Banking to sponsor an Orange River WineX for Michael to taste the wines of Barnus Steyn, who makes a balanced Colombard at 12.5% alcohol from grapes grown at 51 tons/ha. A MasterClass™ in Kakamas has a nice ring to it.
Flood irrigated by the Groot Gariep and paid R1500 a ton, he nets around ten times the income those gnarly old bush vines make for the millionaires and billionaires in Franschhoek and can make a nice living and pay his workers a living wage on R25 a bottle.
But alas, it turned out the Dombeya Cabernet 2008 (above, left) was reduced by R21 (down to R69, a signifier of “joy and bonhomie” in some circles). It got four stars sighted in Platter and a doozy of a tasting note “Mocha, cacao dust, black current (sic) are all balanced by Jasnmin (sic).” Is this a record for the most typos in a tasting note and I wonder what cacao dust tastes like – chocolate? No wonder there’s such a demand for 140 character tweeted tasting notes.