Scali Blanc 2009

January 28, 2013
by Christian
in What I Drank Last Night
with 5 Comments


The randomness of Twitter. “ Scali Blanc 2009 – a bit too odd for it’s (sic) own good? Distinctive and characterful, but a bit wild for me. Like sherry + new oak”, tweeted Richard Hemming this past Friday. Now Hemming is a wine writer on and a MW student and I picked up on his tweet entirely incidentally. My immediate response was “I think it is crazy-assed and we need more crazy-assed wines” but subsequently found myself in a bout of introspection.

I liked the wine so much when tasting it for the 2012 edition of Platter’s that I nominated it for 5 Stars. It was not endorsed by my colleagues and remained at 4½ Stars. My tasting note then was as follows: “Intellectually demanding, from 50% Chenin, 20% Chardonnay, rest Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, year older oak. Hugely complex with great breadth & depth of flavour, apple, green melon, peach, apricot, nuts, spice, weightless intensity before super-dry finish”. Purple prose which I can hardly improve on now, although I might add that I do get how many might find this wine weird.

After Hemming’s tweet, I was compelled to open my last sample bottle this weekend. Due to both its failure to earn endorsement in the Platter taste-off plus Hemming’s misgivings, I was initially inclined to fixate on the wine’s flaws. But, man, I dig it, and the reason I dig it is because it’s left of centre. 15/20 or 18/20? I have no idea other than it gives me a bit of a thrill and I like the way it introduces a flavour profile outside of the conventional. It’s different but nowhere near as different as some of the stuff Lammershoek’s Craig Hawkins is doing and if we can’t accommodate Scali, how on earth are we going to accommodate the even more alternative but potentially great?

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  1. Daryl BalfourJanuary 30, 2013 at 2:16 pmReply

    Must say I was not turned on by the Scali Blanc (2007 in my case) as much as other “interesting” whites such as the Solms Amalie, Lammershoek Roulette Blanc, Reyneke Reserve and even the Bouchard Finlayson Blanc de Mer. Adi Badenhorst’s White is another firm favourite. I found the Scali a bit flabby…and yes, 15 or 16/20 in my book.

  2. ChristianJanuary 28, 2013 at 4:51 pmReplyAuthor

    Hi Dionysus, The bottle opened was indeed a second submitted for Platter’s – tasters are entitled to keep wines of interest. Most, however, end up being used in some form or another for charity. Last year, I sold my left-overs at a (nominal) price to friends and family and will be donating the proceeds – just need to think of the appropriate charity (all suggestions welcome). Nothing much to relate about the label – wine sent through pre-release and label altered accordingly.

  3. KwispedoorJanuary 28, 2013 at 12:19 pmReply

    Pretty nice handwriting for a dog, that. Perhaps Mulderbosch’s faithful hound is not dead after all and doing cheap labour in the De Waal cellar?  ;-)

  4. dionysusJanuary 28, 2013 at 11:39 amReply

    This is the type of piece that will FORCE me to go out and find this wine. The bottle that you opened was that from Platter samples? I thought all samples were returned for same charity or something. And secondly, I notice on the pic above the vintage is written in by hound, or a sticker is used…what is the story behind that?


  5. DarrylJanuary 28, 2013 at 8:39 amReply

    Twitter update from Hemming: “Amazed (and pleased) to find that Scali Blanc is greatly improved after two open days in the fridge. Oddball!”

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