Slaughtering Sacred Cows


Don’tya luv it? Two scared cows of global wine – “natural wine” and “biodiversity” – are being exposed as bovine beasts from unlikely sources. Was I the only one to notice the most controversial of Robert Parker’s predictions for 2014:

The undefined scam called “natural” or “authentic” wines will be exposed as a fraud – (most serious wines have no additives)

which should give producers entering the Top 100 SA Wines circus something to chat about over canapés in St. James. And while Su the snakeoil salesperson tries to nut out the DNA of the Breedekloof, the whole green focus of WOSA under her reign is being called into question by James Lovelock, the scientist who coined the Gaia Paradigm.

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James told the Guardian “a ‘green lifestyle’ amounts to little more than ‘ostentatious grand gestures’. He distrusts the notion of ethical consumption. ‘Because always, in the end, it turns out to be a scam … or if it wasn’t one in the beginning, it becomes one.'” Hard words for FairTrade and Wieta executives relaxing in their La-Z-Boy recliners in London and dining under the spreading oaks of Laborie in Paarl.

Lovelock believes global warming is now irreversible, and that nothing can prevent large parts of the planet becoming too hot to inhabit, or sinking underwater, resulting in mass migration, famine and epidemics. Britain is going to become a lifeboat for refugees from mainland Europe, so instead of wasting our time on wind turbines we need to start planning how to survive. To Lovelock, the logic is clear. The sustainability brigade are insane to think we can save ourselves by going back to nature; our only chance of survival will come not from less technology, but more.

Nuclear power, he argues, can solve our energy problem – the bigger challenge will be food. “Maybe they’ll synthesise food. I don’t know. Synthesising food is not some mad visionary idea; you can buy it in Tesco’s, in the form of Quorn. It’s not that good, but people buy it. You can live on it.” But he fears we won’t invent the necessary technologies in time, and expects “about 80%” of the world’s population to be wiped out by 2100. Prophets have been foretelling Armageddon since time began, he says. “But this is the real thing.”

Given such grim writing on the wall, what should we do? “Enjoy life while you can. Because if you’re lucky it’s going to be 20 years before it hits the fan.” A good place to start is with the 2010 SA cabernets which are starting to emerge. A couple of recently caught my eye like the stonker from Plaisir de Merle while for something a little older at an unbeatable price, getwine have a beauty from Capaia

5 2 Slaughtering Sacred Cows
Capaia One 2008
Regular retail price R225
Getwine price R99
Save R126 pb
This crimson Cabernet dominated Bordeaux with a splash of Shiraz shows impressive, rich, complex layers of dark fruits with carpaccio meatiness from time spent in the barrels. The fruit / oak balance is harmonious, with the soft firm tannins producing a wine of excellent structure.

40% Cabernet Sauvignon – 22% Merlot – 18% Cabernet Franc – 16% Petit Verdot – 4% Shiraz

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So dig a deep hole (electricity supply is already unreliable) and fill with 2010 SA reds for excellent value drinking until we wait for Gaia to shrug us all off her back.