Back in the day when I wrote about wine in the Financial Mail for the late, great Linda Stafford, I would recommend a wine to buy and drink now; one to buy now and cellar and one to avoid. As was to be expected, producers would focus on the last category. It wouldn’t matter how much I raved about the cellarable or the drinkable. It was the avoids that made winemakers see red. So in our eagerly anticipated Neil Pendock’s Winelands Guide 2013, we’ve decided to declare we did not understand the wines we omitted, rather than accuse anyone of being friends with Brett, being the proud owner of dirty barrels or a host of other issues that cloud our understanding. Here is Anibal (below) at Doornbosch this morning, failing to understand a Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc.
We misunderstood 8 Sauvignon Blancs out of 28 for an impressive hit rate of 71%. Chenin Blancs were harder – we failed to understand 11 out of 20 for a hit rate of 55%.
For a consumer, a hit rate is arguably more useful than the number of five heart wines we met as if you assume we tasted a representative sample of Stellenbosch, you’re better off ordering Sauvignon with a 3 in 4 chance of satisfaction ahead of Chenin where the odds are even. But better yet is Constantia Sauvignon Blanc with a hit rate of 89% at Monday’s tasting.