Yesterday I presented a tasting for five novice wine enthusiasts. Three pairs of wines chosen to be as stylistically as far apart as possible: Stellenrust Chenin Blanc 2014 vs Simonsig Chenin Avec Chêne 2010, Longridge Chardonnay 2013 vs Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay 2013 and Knorhoek Pantére Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 vs Guardian Peak Lapa Cabernet Sauvignon 2011.
The audience tasted blind and had to vote for their favourite wine in each instance: 3-2 to Stellenrust in the case of the first pair, 5-0 to Jordan in the case of the second and 3-1 (one undecided) to Guardian Peak in the case of the third.
I was somewhat surprised that the Simonsig found as much favour as it did as I thought the secondary and tertiary character that this wine shows would put the novice off but that’s precisely what was appreciated.
No surprises at all when it came to the Jordan and the Guardian Peak. These are excellent wines but designed to be revenue maximising – the producers have styled their them in order to charge as much as possible (R345 a bottle for the Jordan and R220 for the Guardian Peak) while appealing to as many people as possible, plenty of fruit power defining both of them.