Are SA wine writers really guava specialists?

Couple of interesting claims from Jancis Robinson in the Weekend Financial Times today.  “Berries and cherries tend to dominate American tasting notes while South Africans in my experience are the only ones to routinely find guava in white wines.”  Which is probably because SA is the major producer of quality Chenin Blanc in which guava flavours often occur naturally.  Or do some producers surreptitiously add them as they used to do with green peppers?

guava 300x212 Are SA wine writers really guava specialists?

But one claim from Mrs. Robinson had me scratching my bonce.  “One tasting term that seems to me increasingly fashionable can, I think, be traced to the late Len Evans, the Welshman who turned Australia on to wine.  As far as I can make out, ‘line’ is a complimentary description of the linear impact of a wine on the palate, the opposite of a wine that is big and broad, and I see it slowly seeping into tasting notes written by Brits if not Americans.”  Surely “linear”, the adjectival form of line, which is a noun?  How embarrassing!

Of course down here we’ve all been using “linear” for yonks.  It was brought to SA by Michel Bettane; a mistranslation of a French adjective meaning “longer than you can taste” by one local be-whiskered bowtie.  Or did it arise from “longue line”, that clever armchair than converts to a chaise longue at the flick of a switch?  A French version of the Laz-Z-Boy recliner beloved of armchair critics who pontificate on wine quality from their naugahyde thrones.  Chances of winning the Franschhoekfranschhoekcellarwines Are SA wine writers really guava specialists?
by franschhoekwines
Wine Writers Award
this year?  100:1.