Terroir Masayiti

Tariro Masayiti, winemaker at Springfontein, should consider changing his name from Tariro to Terroir. It’s a bit like Terror Lekota and his profile has gone into orbit this month. Exhibit “A” was poll position in the line-up of Naughty Boys of Pinotage at the Pendock Wine Gallery @ Taj. Exhibit “B” was judging the Checkers Battle of die Berge at Muratie yesterday (below). Exhibit “C” was rave reviews in the Spectator, the UK magazine which is far more reliable on matters vinous than the US Wine Spectator which is so dodgy it recommends readers order endangered Kingfish in Stellenbosch restaurants.

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The Speccie on Tariro’s Chardonnay: “now a star attraction. You will need to get your skates on to order this beauty, as there are only limited stocks. It’s a 2011 Wild Ferment Chardonnay (3) from Springfontein in South Africa, and it is superb. ‘Wild ferment’ is not a pretentious term; it just means that the wine doesn’t get any added yeast. The result is a rich, deep, multi-layered wine that I thought was a joy. As I say, you’ll need to move quickly — though if they run out, they’ll offer you the similarly delicious Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin from the same range. £14.85.”

The Speccie on Tariro’s Naughty Boy Pinotage: “our next wine, a Pinotage, also comes from Springfontein and is, I regret to say, called a ‘terroir selection’. But it is still delicious. Pinotage used to be famous for being muddy — some people liked that so much they would ask merchants if they had anything muddier, like men in macs in Soho wanting something stronger. This 2008 (5) has gorgeous, dark, forest-fruit flavours, a touch of cedar, a silkiness, and is altogether luscious. You might try it in the mixed case because I am sure you’ll want to order more. £15.50.”

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How appropriate then that the inventor of Pinotage, Professor Perold, positioned his girlfriend Anemie Canitz (above) to watch over Tariro yesterday as he put 70 Simonsberg and Helderberg wines through their paces, blind. Heck, Muratie was so full of benevolent ghosts, tastings took place in the Spirit World. Ronnie Melck, who died 18 years ago to the day yesterday, would have thoroughly enjoyed the tasting and when the results are unveiled at 1.30pm today, he will approve of the best Helderberg red, in particular.