Absa Top Ten Pinotage Competition: second day of judging

Another day, another seventy eight pinotages, this time mostly from the 2006 vintage which looks like it will be a much better year than 2005.  Tuesday’s tasting turned up 17 wines for tomorrow’s final tasteoff, with 17/20 the median score among the seven judges necessary to secure a place.  We need 20 for the Absa Top Ten line up – funny that they don’t call it the Absa Top 20 Competition – but then, they are bankers…

winep1 Absa Top Ten Pinotage Competition: second day of judging

Problems with TCA corkamorimcork Absa Top Ten Pinotage Competition: second day of judging
by Amorim Cork
taint were conspicuous by their absence.  Could it be that cork producers are finally getting it right?  There were a couple of fizzy wines and UK judge Julian Brind MW even scored two wines 20/20.  One, a 2007, I suspect is this year’s Jan Smuts Trophy Winner for best young wine at the show of the same name.  With lashings of coffee and mocha flavours from toasted oak barrels, there was some dispute over whether this is a stylistic message we should be sending out to the public.  I think it’s a valid style, even if most of the flavours come from wood rather than grapes.  The public certainly like it as the runaway success of Diemersfontein’s People’s Pinotage confirms on a daily basis.

Alas my trip to Kaapzicht and Bellevue yesterday was a non-starter.  The tour company sent a Mercedes limo and there was no space in the vehicle for yours truly once the two UK judges and their spouses (or spice?) climbed in.  Which reminds me of last year’s Nederburg Auction when I was thrown off the helicopter taking us across Table Bay to dinner.  “You’re too fat” the pilot diplomatically informed me.  “You have to wait for the last flight, when we’ve burned off some fuel.”  Inspiration for a diet, indeed.

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