Poor old Tim James (below), associate/assistant editor of the Platter wine label guide. At yesterday’s KWV Mentors launch at the Test Kitchen, he politely rubbished the Mentors reds as being old fashioned and over alcoholized. At the Shiraz SA awards today at the Vineyard Hotel (two 2012 KWV reds in the top 12), fellow CWM Dr. Andy Roediger praised the dozen winners as “spicier than last year, with over-ripeness absent. Very few wines were perceived as over alcoholic and US oak was conspicuously absent. There was more use of old wood and perfume from cooler fermentations.” Elegant wines with finesse in a nutshell.
Mixed messages. Of course the difference is Andy’s panel tasted the 193 Shirazes blind, whereas yesterday’s launch was anything but as a detailed technical information sheet was provided. Likewise the Platter evaluations are made sighted and producers from less fashionable appellations or making unusual wines assigned Tim as taster may want to contact the closest branch of Standard Bank (owners of Platter and not Sizzling Platters LLC as you may expect) and request a new personal banker/taster.
Shiraz SA is well aware of the damage and havoc rogue tasters and spoofers can wreak. To such an extent they have established a Shiraz Certificate under the auspices of the University of Stellenbosch. Of 27 tasters who entered the exam, only 7 passed. Perhaps the time has come for a springclean at Platter?