Blending to Deceive

In the world of wine anoraks, news that a wine has been disqualified from a competition is comparable to the rest of the world being told that Barack Obama has been unmasked by the CIA as a Taliban spy who sleeps with (male) goats. A competition scandal is about as pants wetting as it gets in the wine world.

So here we are, 2010 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show. And after the results are announced, a few hours goes by before the news breaks: Zonnebloem’s Laureat blend has been stripped of its Gold Medal because it did not consist of pure Bordeaux varieties. Yes, it has a “dollop” of Shiraz juice, therefore making it un-Bordeaux.

Cool, we say. Rules is rules.

But ‘dem competition rules ain’t always easy to comprehend. Take Vergelegen’s V flagship wine. This wine has always been marketed and punted as a Bordeaux blend. So why was it entered – two vintages, nogal – in the Old Mutual’s Cabernet class?