Applying the same value criteria as investment analysts use to optimize stock market returns, we analysed the 88 red blends submitted to the Ultra Liquors Best Value Guide 2014. Wines were judged blind by a panel of three experienced tasters plus an associate judge overseen by Christine Rudman. Retail prices ranged from R20 to R85 while average scores went from 14.3 to 16.2 out of 20. There was a pleasing positive correlation of 0.2 between price and score so on average, the pricier the wine, the more pleasure the judges experienced, the sluts.
Speaking of averages, the mean retail price was R47.50. Judges’ mean scores were transformed into a quality value by assuming that in an ideal world with level playing fields and full disclosure, the better the wine, the higher the price. Best buys are those wines with smallest price/quality ratio a bit like looking for low PE, the price/earnings ratio of a stock. Sells, over which we’ll draw a discrete veil, are the other end of the scale.
Knorhoek Wines Knor Red Blend 2012 15.20 R25.00
Stellenbosch Hills Polkadraai Pinotage/Merlot 2012 16.00 R33.00
Anura Frog Hill Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2012 15.80 R35.00
Gravel Junction Unbelievable Dry Red 2012 14.50 R19.99
Koelenhof Koelenberg Merlot/Pinotage 2011 15.00 R30.00
The Knor red blend 2012 is not a stock cube but rather a mixture of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinotage and Cabernet Sauvignon and in its unlabelled state, is offered by Johan Wegner at getwine for R28 against a recommended retail price of R44 so the R25 labeled version tasted by the BVG was either a typo or a good deal indeed.
The Gravel Junction is located on Mount Vernon on the Simonsberg and consists of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage where the Hooper family of Oude Molen fame make and market the wine. Two big messages emerge from this re-processing of red blend results
80% of the best buys contain Pinotage;
60% of the best buys come from the Simonsberg (Knorhoek, Anura and Gravel Junction) which is why I illustrated this post with a photo of the Best Value Mountain in SA. Even if two of the three brands lie in the Paarl appellation which shows just how silly political wine appellations really are. Perhaps Checkers Battle of die Berge should really be about mountains and ignore municipal boundaries.