Pinotage more consistent than Sauvignon Blanc?

The message from last weekend’s Veritas results was that Pinotage is a cultivar judges can agree on once their prejudices have been excluded. Kanonkop 2010, KWV Mentors 2011, Simonsig Redhill 2010 and Windmeul Reserve 2012 were all in ABSA’s Top Twenty. Perhaps if FNB had revealed their Top Twenty Sauvignons, there would have been fewer red faces at the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group [SBIG]. Certainly, the current situation which I blogged about on Times Live last week, is suboptimal for the sponsor. Embarrassing, even.

IMG 0842 615x345 Pinotage more consistent than Sauvignon Blanc?

William Wilkinson (above right) was unlucky to get a Veritas silver and I wonder if Jacques Wentzel (above left) entered his Black Elephant. Talk about an elephant in the room! Jacques, since elephants are traditionally the mode of transport favoured by Maharajahs, let’s make a PinoTajTM to pair with Dak Bungalow Chicken. For even if WOSA think there are no sommeliers in India, we know there are. And Harpreet Kaur is the lady to make it for us at the Taj in town.

So how come FNB and SBIG got it so wrong? Do I think SBIG fiddled the scores? No. Do I think an agenda is pushed as to “acceptable styles”? Yes. Should sponsors tolerate this? No. Surely the raison d’etre of wine competitions is to inform consumer choice. If blind tastings cannot achieve this, sponsors should walk away.

For this is not the first time a Sauvignon Blanc panel got it “wrong” from a sponsor’s point of view. Urban legend reports the Top Ten Sauvignon Blanc competition at Wine magazine was dropped by its supermarket sponsor when the retailer heard the chairman of the tasting panel browbeat his panel over a wine that was a buyers own brand of the sponsor.

While the tasting was “blind”, the retailer was present and knew it was his wine being gutted. Withdrawal of the sponsorship quickly ensued and the collapse of the publication, not long after. That these sinister Sauvignon stylists are still operating says something about SA wine. I’m just not sure what.