Chilean Bordeaux in Bethlehem

The rough beast of WB Yeats “its hour come round at last, slouching towards Bethlehem to be born” in his apocalyptic poem The Second Coming has a name: Concha y Toro.  Half shell, half bull, it is now listed in over 200 Pick ‘n Pay supermarkets around the country, including Bethlehem in the Free State. It’s actually the ear of the bull, but shell also Google translates and after tasting their maritime Sauvignons Blanc, perhaps even more appropriate.  The star of yesterday’s High Street Shopping Village Winter Wine Festival in Durbanville IMHO was the 2008 Trio blend of Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc plus Shiraz (a style Decanter magazine, the best in the world they claim, calls a Bordeaux Blend), being modeled below by importer Andy Barrett from NixAn Wines in Bedfordview.

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“Concha y Toro is now over 90% of my turnover” confides Andy. A figure that is sure to improve even further once Wayne Rooney, the spud-faced nipper from Manchester United and the rest of the red devils arrive in SA next month to play soccer. For although the overweight ooms at High Street may sport XXXL Springbok rugby hemde, the SA national sport is soccer. And totally brilliant of the shells and bulls at Concha to grab the marketing position as official wine of the tour. A Chilean brand supporting a UK soccer team in Durban, the black hole of SA wine consumption. Only in SA and proof that Nederburg emptied their marketing spittoon onto the chiskoppe at MasterChefSA. Let’s hope they made the right asset allocation.

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Meanwhile Carolyn Barton, wine czar at Walmart’s Makro, has already delisted at least one local producer to make way for Trio which she shall retail for R85 a bottle. How many other Robert Parker 90+ pointers can you buy in SA for that price?

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Little wonder Su Birch, embattled CEO of WOSA, was among the first to bravely tweet the arrival of Toro in Century City, even if it did raise a few eyebrows in marketing kringe. For if even WOSA (“the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity” as WB remarked) can recognize the threat shells and bulls hold for SA wine, producers are already up to their oxters in bovine poo.