The South African Wine Index (SAWi) is a fairly recent initiative that attempts to collate the results of multiple local and international wine competitions in order to present one single score on a 100-point scale. Obvious shortcomings at this stage include the fact that SAWi has yet to get all producers to sign up and the index does not allow for vintage. Even so, it’s a smart idea in principle. For SAWi’s take on which wines constitute South Africa’s best, see the “96+ Club”.
The same development team will soon be offering the Food & Wine Pairing Menu application delivered via Ipad for restaurants. The menu of the day is displayed and wines are recommended according to the choice of food dish. Most of the wine content is supplied by the participating wineries but also includes SAWi quality and value ratings.
At a function held at Longridge in Stellenbosch, guests got to test a prototype version of the application. I thought functionality was fair but content was dismal. Climatic influences on the Sauvignon Blanc 2009, for instance, read as follows: “Cool moderate rainy Mediterranean warm sunny summers, gentle warm breezes from ocean influence 4km away, wind flow interrupted by mountain capturing winter rain summer winds”. Eh?
Luckily, there was plenty of Longridge Pinotage 2007 to drink, a wine which just happened to be amongst the winners in the 2009 Absa Top 10 Pinotage competition. SAWi, meanwhile, rates Longridge Pinotage generally as “Excellent Wine of Distinction / Exceptionally Outstanding” (depicted symbolically by four out of a possible five wine glasses) and gives it 116% on its value index. I liked it for its concentrated dark fruit offset by a pleasing savoury character.