Are we under-rating our new-wave reds? And are local consumers paying enough for them? By way of calibration, a bottle of Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage 2011, R295 a bottle from Joostenberg Deli in Stellenbosch.
Crozes a lesser appellation to Hermitage itself, Graillot one of the better growers, 2011 a good but not great vintage.
So how did the wine look? Red and black fruit, garrigue, cured meat and white pepper on the nose. Medium-bodied, a lovely line of acidity (fresh but not hard or tart as is often the case with local wines picked early) and gently grippy tannins (whole-bunch ferment in evidence but not excessively so). Not necessarily a great wine but oh, so true to itself.
No doubt local wine has seen significant quality improvements in recent times, but we must guard against getting carried away when it comes to both ratings and price. The market has a great way of determining pecking order.