Cabernet drought

An analysis of last week’s Platter wine label guide five star stunnas continues to confirm just how blunt were the buds of the tools of Diners Club. While stunnas are up a massive 66% on last year’s crop, the sipping soccer moms only managed to pick three Cabernets among the 83 wines they awarded. This is the equivalent of Bordeaux classifying a handful of first growths from thousands of producers. Where was the Three Pines from Stark-Conde? The Garland from Simonsig?

The blind tasting probably blew up as the Cabernet class was huge and the Mediocre Mammas and Platter Pappas couldn’t identify their own producers and so focused on the tiny Cinsault and Grenache Noir classes instead. What a spittoon full of spoofers! This incompetence is a serious threat to appellations such as Stellenbosch who have started branding themselves The Kingdom of Cabernet. A Kingdom without a royal family.

At least we managed to rescue one Prince from pundit purgatory by flagging the Delheim Grand Reserve in the Times this morning.

IMG 5859 615x461 Cabernet drought

Bottle of the Week: Delheim Grand Reserve 2013

How much and where? R285 from and independent wine shops

Why? Although SA wine has been around for four centuries, traditional brands are in short supply. Delheim Grand Reserve has been on the scene since 1981 and this Cabernet flagship has reappeared after a four year hiatus. A lesson to producers who bottle premium wines every year with increased prices in spite of vintage variations which can be significant.

Delheim patriarch Spatz Sperling was a founder of the Stellenbosch Wine Route, the first in the country, and his estate on the Simonsberg has been producing benchmark Cabernets for sixty years.

Stellenbosch has started styling itself the Kingdom of Cabernet and this wine is a worthy crown prince: regal balance of wood and dark fruits with a plush, almost majestic, train.

Rating: ****

*****: Queen Maxima

****: Prince Harry

***: Rama IX

**: RuPaul

*: Fergie