Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fewer wine faults spotted on day 3 of Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show

Fewer wine faults spotted on day 3 of Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show

Author: Cathy Marston

Published: 11 May 11 Another busy day of tasting yesterday as the panels hit their stride and seemed full of purpose and a sense of accomplishment. Gary Jordan’s panel of Christian Eedes, Thierry Desseauve and associate judge Nkulu Mkhwanazi were ploughing through 138 Shirazes – only interrupted by the heavy projector screen which fell off the wall, luckily missing Gary and auditor Charnez who usually sits right underneath. They motored through 80 wines in the morning with plenty of consensus and some obvious contenders for gold medals. Both Gary and Christian commented on how few winemaking faults they found compared to 5 years ago – more wines are correct, but now the challenge is to raise the bar and make them exciting as well.

Debra Meiburg MW tweeted about snakes in the tasting room and spiders in wine glasses at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show earlier this week.
Gary also felt that winemakers were not only using their oak better, but that the barrels they had access to had vastly improved in quality resulting in fewer dusty and green flavours in the wines. Having said that, he also believed that some people are spending far too much money on expensive barrels when the wine inside didn’t justify such investment and had insufficient fruit to be able to cope with the added layer of flavour.

‘The Blonde Bombshell’ panel comprising Ginette de Fleuriot CWM as chair, Debra Meiburg MW and associate judge JD Pretorius from Steenberg along with dare-to-be-different Miguel Chan were very enthusiastic about the small selection of Cabernet Francs with which they started the day. Debra in particular was impressed with the cleanliness and freshness of all the Cabernets – both Franc and Sauvignon - with Ginette agreeing “There was hardly any brett or anything else nasty going on – it’s all very exciting!”

The remaining panel comprising Cathy van Zyl MW, Neal Martin, Francois Rautenbach and associate judge Heidi Duminy had started off with a bang and a range of MCC’s and sparkling wines before working their way through a series of Chardonnays for the most part of the morning. Neal Martin in particular was very complimentary about the Chardonnays, even muttering the term “very Burgundian” at one point, although he did hasten to tone this down by adding “but with slightly less minerality”!

And so onto the final day with panel A tackling the 3 P’s of Pinot, Pinotage and Port, another spending the day entirely in red (non-Bordeaux) blends and the last panel doing an eclectic mix of wines ranging from pink to aromatics to Merlot. It’s a lovely sunny day in Paarl – let’s hope the wines can put everyone in a good mood too!