Friday, October 8, 2010

Relative Value

While value can be relative, everybody loves a bargain. What about uncovering money you accidently hid from yourself long ago? Not as good as finding fab wine at great prices.

And there were more surprises at today’s Wine Magazine Best Value Guide launch (all wine under R60) at Joostenberg Deli – the reds are making a comeback particularly Koelenbosch Sangiovese ’09  out of Koelenhof Co-op – although I think that C word no longer used in polite conversation.

Now, while I did not taste all the wines included in the guide, another stand-out red was sponsor’s Ultra Liquors own brand Secret Cellar Cab Franc Petit Verdot (NV) for its fine grained tannins – ja @ R29.99 - and Openers Occasion (Waterstone Wines) Cab Sauv 2008 for juicy varietal character and astounding value at R20.64 (when the cents start to count) although the Sangiovese was only R28.50!! No wonder Ultra bucked the wine retail trend over the last (depressed) year.

On the white side - again did not taste all – Lutzville Sauv Blanc ’10 stood out for its intensity and palate texture (although found ‘cool climate’ on label a bit of a giggle), BC (Brandvlei Cellar) Chenin Blanc ’10 for complexity (maybe hint of Sauv Blanc lees) and Arabella Viogner ’10 for ..well being peachy.
Meanwhile Swartland Cuvee Brut is a sparkling wine heavily disguised as a bottle fermented cap classique. You can buy one at R31.00 and still feel like you got two for the price of one.

Distell had winners (Obikwa) in the red and white category and one of the Best Value Performers Overall for 2010. Glen Carlou Tortoise Hill Red 2008 and Overgaauw Sherpherd's Cottage Cab/Mer 2008 were the only two entries to get 4 stars and not win their red blend categories as they started getting expensive - at R45 and R39 respectively! The winner (red blends) Secret Cellar came in at R29.99 and 3,5 stars. 

PS wines are assessed twice in the guide - you will see a rating out of 20 for value and a star rating for quality so for eg Glen Carlou gets 4/5 stars (one of only two 4 star wines) for quality and - at R45 - gets 12/20 for value.
PSS you will find the Sangiovese under White Wines in the abbreviated list of value award winners but in its correct section - other red varieties - in the guide.

Jonathan Snashall

for all the results 

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