White Knave 2009

Neil Pendock October 19, 2013 2

With impeccable timing, night drinker and reportedly the pick of Biggie Smalls Lascaris to publish PlatterXtian Eedes, releases his top Sauvignon blend on Tuesday. Presumably this was the tasting competition SBIG secretary Pieter Pippijoller de Waal was referring to when he was trying to manipulate me as a Sauvignon Blanc judge last year.

“It has also been put forward that we have another competition somewhere around March/April 2013, namely a Sauvignon Blanc based (i.e. minimum 50%) blend competition (not unlike the Cape Blend competition the Pinotage Association does)  and for that competition we would like you on board (and of course not Christian [Eedes]).  My feet are numb, what with treading so carefully on all the eggs!”


Well surprise, surprise!  “The Hermit on the Hill The White Knight 2009 made by garagiste Pieter de Waal was the tasting group’s wine of the day and I have to say I was really glad to see it perform so well – I nominated it for 5 Stars in Platter’s 2012 but it was ultimately not endorsed” says Xtian, ecstatically.

Huh?  The SBIG secretary’s wine wins?  How does that work?  The pippijoller who appointed Xtian chairman of the FNB Top Ten Sauvignon Competition and who took him to France to judge the Concours du Sauvignon this year.  What a lucky break.  Although a cynic may say this wine has distinct notes of rat pie.  Is sponsor FNB aware of this?  “Sandenbergh, Charl” <Charl.Sandenbergh@fnb.co.za>,“Loots, Lize” <Lize.Loots@fnb.co.za>,Stephan Claassen FNB <Stephan.Claassen@fnb.co.za>” did you know?

How did Platanna come to assign The Hermit on the Hill brand to Xtian to taste sighted for the guide, a man in a paid relationship with the producer through SBIG? Don’t tasters have to disclose potential conflicts of interest, Platter editor Phillip van Zyl?   Did Chris ask to judge these knavish wines?  Can he be bought so cheaply?  Has he read Dr. Faustus written by another Chris, (Marlowe)?


Seems like pippijoller uses SBIG to market his wines and sure sounds like a scam to me and something the new publisher of Platanna, JP Rossouw, may want to look into, as it stinks to high heaven. Nominating a wine for five stars made by the secretary of SBIG when you’re presumably paid to be panel chair of their annual FNB Top Ten Competition.  Me, I’m off to see  Cas Coovadia, a member of the Ombudsman for Banking Services Board, to lodge a complaint.

It’s a scam to make the sub-prime scandal look like a fairy tale.  Has Standard Bank/Diners Club bought another can of worms? As a member of SBIG emailed me last night “inelegant and in cheap & bad taste. There’s no room in my life for people like this.”  Will someone call for a boycott of Diners Club cards until they get their affairs in order?  It’s almost worth buying a Standard Bank share to ask the chairman what’s going on at the AGM.

SBIG needs to stir its stumps and have a meeting soonest to investigate the whole stinking mess which is tarnishing the reputation of Sauvignon Blanc in SA.  “Sauvignon, a sip for scoundrels”.  Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?


  1. Hennie @ Batonage October 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm -

    Neil, I think you missed the mark with this article. Christian wrote about the White Knight as we had tasted it BLIND in our CASUAL tasting group. It was scored the highest by all 12 people tasting and it was a clear winner on the day out of the 20 wines we tasted. This was not as part of a professional wine competition and only 3 of the group’s members have qualified as wine judges – myself, Maggie and Christian. However, only 2 members of the group are non wine industry people. Everyone scored the wines and we collated it on an Excel spreadsheet after each flight. My own score was 19 out of 20, which matches Christian’s score. It is a magnificent wine. Dion Martin hosted the tasting and he sourced all the wine. I can arrange that you get the spreadsheet with the scores if you would like to see it. There’s no agenda here and it might be wise to perhaps relook this piece.

  2. Neil Pendock October 19, 2013 at 4:57 pm -

    Hi Hennie

    Thanks for the background! The main thrust of this post is a request to Platter to explain how Christian came to taste (sighted) Hermit on the Hills wines for the guide, given his relationship with the winemaker. I assume Christian is paid to taste the FNB wines and it certainly looks peculiar.

    As for the casual tasting you refer to, I confess I don’t read Christian’s site and brought the matter up when a member of SBIG emailed. The winning wine has a distinctive Muscat component which can presumably be picked up? Who chose the wines tasted? As it was a casual affair, I am happy to take your word for it there was no knavish behaviour, although my Platter concerns still stand.

Leave A Response »