Quality white blends on 2nd day of Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show
Author: Cathy Marston
Published: 10 May 11
“Did you know that if we were doing this tasting under the auspices of my tutor from UC Davis, Ann Noble, then we wouldn’t even have sequential and 1 or 2 digit numbers for these wines?” So said local judge, Gary Jordan, of Jordan wines, as he went on to explain that she issued all wines in blind tasting with a randomly-generated, 4 digit, non-sequential number because she believed (and had research to prove it too) that tasters can show a preference for certain numbered wines! Weird, but true!
So with the first day over, the panels are looking a little less bright-eyed and bushy-tailed than 24 hours ago. The Sauvignon panel, chaired by Christian Eedes and comprising Debra Meiburg MW and François Rautenbach with Chris Albrecht, assistant winemaker at Bouchard Finlayson, as an associate judge, was fairly buoyant with all of them falling into a comfortable rhythm very early on in the day and all of them very pleased with the quality of the wines submitted.
Frenchman, Thierry Desseauve’s strong opinions and extremely high standards proved a challenge for chairwoman Cathy van Zyl MW, who coped admirably with aligning his views with those of her own, Miguel Chan and associate judge Heidi Duminy to reach consensus. Their panel had the ‘plum’ classes of the day – white blends and Semillon - with competition Chairman Michael Fridjhon, being particularly excited about the quality of the older wines.
And Gary Jordan, Ginette de Fleuriot, Neal Martin and associate judge Thys Louw, from Diemersdal, worked their way through a mixed bag of different vintages of red Bordeaux blends, with their main concern being to give each wine the fairest mark possible. “It’s a question of how to reward a wine that’s aged, but possibly isn’t going to get any better versus a young wine that needs some time in order to show at its best” said Ginette as her panel tasted late into the evening in order to get through their allocated wines.
Dinner was scheduled to start at 8pm with most of the tasters rushing in at the last minute to sit down an hour later. Tough tasting indeed!
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