Best Value Pinotages


29 Pinotages were submitted for blind evaluation to the Best Value Guide last year. They ranged in price from R27.50 to R72.50. There was a cut-off at R80, although this artificial glass ceiling is really not needed to determine the best value wines and won’t be in place for our own Good Value Guru Soirées. After all, best value does not mean cheapest.

pino11 615x461 Best Value Pinotages

From the top graph (above) you can see the problem with providing consumers with scores: there is a negative correlation of -0.1 between the average score of the three judges and the price. Of course tasting is conducted blind as this is no Platter sighted assessment which looses all credibility although sources tell me that this year, four star wines and above will all be tasted blind although the problem that nominations will presumably still be made sighted, persists. So big deal.

How Standard Bank, which is the ultimate owner of the guide, can tolerate such a patently unfair system which is open to manipulation, escapes me. Especially when the Diners Club director managing the guide, Reg Lascaris, owns a whole cellar full of wine brands.

coscon Best Value Pinotages

One retailer reports that Platter has now started selling stickers for 3.5 * sighted assessments that look just like the 4 * stickers. So much for Platter being a guide and not a competition. Rubbish. Why some supermarkets still submit their own-label wines for sighted assessment also escapes me, as the decks are stack against them at a steeper angle than those of the Costa Concordia.

Back to the quantitative world, sorting prices and reassigning them to wines so that the common sense rule of capitalism (the more you pay, the better the product) applies, results in the lower graph and the correlation “miraculously” improves to 0.21. We call the new price a quality value and by comparing it to the recommended retail price, we can all become crafty shoppers. The five Pinotages with best quality value to price are:

KWV Classic Collection Pinotage 2012 15.70 R41.37
Obikwa Pinotage 2012 15.00 R30.00
Rooiberg Winery Pinotage 2011 15.20 R36.00
Tall Horse Pinotage 2012 15.20 R35.99
Namaqua Pinotage 2011 14.70 R27.50

Which I for one do not find surprising. Hiring Richard Rowe (no lover of Platter sighted tastings either) to bring some Australian quality control to KWV has resulted in a range of wines that seriously over-deliver. Now that Richard has been kicked upstairs into a sapiential role, his successor Johann Fourie is clearly continuing in his master’s footsteps.