Dalla Cia Teano 2011

October 18, 2013
by Christian
in What I Drank Last Night
with 6 Comments
The Italian job.

The Italian job.

Last night the inaugural Wade Bales Wine & Malt Whisky Affair. The venue 15 on Orange Hotel, Cape Town, part of Protea Hotels’ African Pride deluxe establishments and an official partner of the event. Also an official partner newspaper Cape Times. Who says old media is dead?

The concept is that exhibitors are there by exclusive invitation of wine entrepreneur Bales. Some 20 wineries exhibiting around 100 wines plus some 15 top-end distilleries. The whisky section was heaving, the wine section, while not exactly deserted, was far less populated. Why the seemingly perpetual primacy of the former over the latter?

Less mysterious (Arbelour 10 YO is Arbelour 10 Y0 is Arbelour 10YO whereas Vilafonté Series C 2010 is something different to the 2009 and again to the 2008), more bragging rights for longer (your high-rolling mates get the “badge value” of Glenfiddich 30 YO over Fable Mountain Vineyards Syrah 2010 and it’s not going to be finished in a flash) and simply better value for money. Veuve Clicquot was available at R98 a glass or R950 a bottle at the event. Really?

Walk-around tastings are more about a fun night out than an opportunity to make any definitive judgements about a wine but even so, there was some seriously decent kit on display. The event is open again tonight and if you go, make sure you visit Dalla Cia Wines. The Bordeaux-style red blend Giorgio 2011, the first release since 2007, looks magnificent (price: R248 a bottle) while you’ll also be able to get a taste of Teano 2011. Based on the Super-Tuscan concept, it contains 30% Sangiovese plus Cab, Merlot and Petit Verdot and is set to sell at R790 a bottle.

The event runs from 18h00 to 21h00. All wines available for purchase via the Wade Bales Wine Society table. Tickets cost R180 a head and are available from Computicket.com

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6 Comments

  1. DionysusOctober 23, 2013 at 4:05 pmReply

    Hi Francois
    I think you make a few fair points. However I do think your analogy of a BMW 1 series is a bit misplaced. You correct in saying it is comparable to the launch of the 1 series, the only difference here is that Giorgio has priced his latest 1 series BMW at a price higher than his 7 series….you can buy the Girogio for R250 and the Meerlust you mention for R300. Where I really am in agreement with you is on South Africa’s super premium offering. It just doesn’t exist to be honest! What we need is more wines, and wines made in volume, in the $100 plus bracket. It all great having 95 point scores etc for our top stuff… and then we export a 1000 bottles, hardly enough to build any sort of reputation.

    Cheers Dionysus

    • Francois.ROctober 25, 2013 at 6:47 pmReply

      Hello Dionysus,
      your points w.r.t the BMW vs. Giorgio & Rubicon also fair but more importantly I completely agree with you that it is exciting when our producers get a reasonably high score but when it is only infrequently and then not only is very little produced and exported but there is often no intention of even/ever systematically growing the production volume then are the scores actually of real value and will it even make a dent in the bigger wine world. Apart from a genuine ‘single vineyard’ wine all other serious producers should not only be striving for greater quality but also to grow exports at the serious end of the market. That also relates to ‘brand building’, it is not enough to make wine and put it in fine livery, Burberry amongst others have proved that even if a venerable producer only if the producer is perceived as an energized producer will it be recognized and then it must also be made available in the right environment to be taken seriously and sell.
      Ciao, Francois

  2. Hennie @ BatonageOctober 18, 2013 at 11:01 amReply

    Shoh, talk about ambitious pricing for that Teano. It fascinates me how new wines with no track record whatsoever is put on the market at prices like these. Did you get to taste the Teano Christian?

    • KwispedoorOctober 18, 2013 at 11:29 amReply

      Can’t agree more, Hennie. Zero track record, so how much shall I charge for it? How about twice the price of a Paul Sauer (and then some). I have a lot of respect for Georgio – nothing against him. It’s just something that’s crept into our recent wine culture, perhaps partly to try and be taken seriously in the American market. But part of it is surely mere opportunism, which is partly fueled by the fact that it often works. There will always be rich fools, eh? From a business perspective, who would not want to sell their product at the highest possible price? I do, so I understand that bit. I guess it just comes down to the fact that, in the end, certain wines are mostly drunk by snobs for whom appearances are everything, while others are mostly drunk by wine lovers.

    • ChristianOctober 18, 2013 at 11:33 amReplyAuthor

      I did taste it – it’s smart but I’d really prefer not to commit to a detailed tasting note or a rating until I’ve looked at it more carefully. On the issue of price, it’s all about charging what the market will bear and with commentators from Wine Advocate’s Neal Martin down bullish about SA wine quality, expect to see prices rise and rise and rise…

    • Francois.ROctober 22, 2013 at 11:24 amReply

      Hello Hennie,
      In fairness Giorgio has a pretty impressive track record with wines both at Meerlust and not too distant 5* Platter ‘Giorgio’ proving their worth not too mention their longevity. If each long-term producer had to introduce a new wine at low price and only after 10 vintages attempt to drive the price up to where is has proven its value to be then there would be very few new super-premium wines introduced. I didn’t notice that when BMW first brought in the ‘1 Series’ that it sold at a discount, in fact most critics claimed it was over-priced for what it was yet the cars sell like hot-cakes.
      Ultimately if South Africa wishes to be taken seriously in the greater wine world there will have to be enough caliber wines at prices not far from other international players. May be better to give a ‘tried & tested’ winemaker’s new wine a shot than someone with only a couple of vintages under their belt.

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