Life of Pi: Piwosa takes on Bordeaux


That the top end of SA wine finally lost its patience with WOSA, the controversial generic marketing body for SA wine, was confirmed by the establishment of Piwosa Premium independent wineries of SA – earlier this year. This was shortly after lame-duck WOSA CEO Su Birch started singing the praises of bulk wine exports, one of the most hard to understand positions of a marketer often at odds with producers and common sense.

The pippyjollers of Piwosa have not let the kikuyu grow under their feet and have taken the fight to the Gallic Goliath. For R850, you can see if you can tell the difference between Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux and SA Cabernet in London. The winner will get a free dinner for two at Quo Vadis in Soho. Platter pundits, who sadly need to see the label to make up their minds, are obviously excluded.

pi 243x300 Life of Pi: Piwosa takes on Bordeaux

Now my only problem is have the juicy jollers picked a fight they’re bound to lose? Of the 15 brands listed on the Site of Pi, none made it into the Cabernet top ten (below) compiled after tasting over 2000 wines blind last year with Aníbal Coutinho.

Top Ten Terroir Cabernet Sauvignons

1. Arendsig 2011 from Robertson. brambles and cassis, sweet and sour fruit creamy palate, fresh.

2. Brennaissance King of Clubs 2009 from Stellenbosch. World class cabernet: chocolate and chalk, spicy deluxe.

3. Glen Carlou 2008 from Paarl. Dense and intense, blackcurrants, lingering…

4. Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2007 from Stellenbosch. Tobacco spicy, peppery red and black fruits with intense sucrosity.

5. Namaqua Wines Spencer Bay 2008 from Namaqualand. Dried stone fruit with chocolaty nose, sweet spice, dried bell peppers. Complex, round and mouth filling, grippy.

6. Rustenberg Peter Barlow 2007 from Stellenbosch. Intense elegance, cassis and minerals. Catherine Deneuve elegance.

7. Springfield Methode Ancienne 2004 from Robertson. Remarkably fresh still bursting with red and stone fruit, tobacco spice and huge length.

8. Stark-Condé Three Pines 2009 from Stellenbosch. Intense floral, cassis and red stone fruit chutney.

9. Thelema The Mint 2009 from Stellenbosch. Tangy berry fruit silky palate, oh, and there’s some mint.

10. Windfall 2009 from Robertson. Fresh and light as a feather. Spicy red fruit, plums with mineral undertones. Remarkable.

They would have been far better off taking on the Rhône or the Loire. Has Piwosa pulled a Robin von Holdt on SA wine? Get some UK flash tasters to rate a couple of hundred SA wines and call it the Top 100 SA wines? Could this Judgement of Pimlico be the Judgement of Paris in reverse, where France wipes out the New World? If so, Pi may wish he was back on the boat with the tiger…