Mason Road Chenin Blanc 2019

By , 6 March 2020



On track.

Former CWG Protégé Kiara Scott was appointed winemaker at Paarl property Brookdale in time for the 2019 harvest (with the acclaimed Duncan Savage continuing to play a consultancy role) and her first effort in the form of Mason Road Chenin Blanc 2019 is impressive.

Fermentation occurred spontaneously in a combination of 85% tank and 15% old oak before maturation lasting some six months. The nose shows pear, white peach and citrus plus a little flinty reduction while the palate is pure, fresh and pithy – a really lovely aperitif wine and great quality relative to the price at R110 a bottle.

CE’s rating: 90/100.

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5 comment(s)

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    Mike Froud | 7 March 2020

    Tasting notes would suggest better than silver… better than a score of 90

      AL | 7 March 2020

      Yes, definitely need to tone down those adjectives. For reference:

      Impressive = gold – you should’ve used “surprising”
      Pure = definitely Gold – next time, use “clear” or, if you must, “impure”
      Lovely = again, what were you thinking? Gold again – should have used “decent” or “acceptable”.

      Avoid words like “smashing”, “excellent”, “bombastic” etc. Stick with one syllable words for Silver – good, nice, meh, bleh. Description should be reserved for Gold only.

        Jaco van Zyl | 7 March 2020

        That made me laugh quite a bit. Thanks for that.

        Donald Ackerman | 9 March 2020

        O’ my Goodness! Really? My impression is that Christian is trying to convey a message that the wine is particularly good. Buy the stuff, drink it, enjoy it!

        Wine ratings? Tomayto or Tomahto? How many wine rating systems are there? What are the standards employed? As many as there are wine critics?

        Wine Advocate
        • 96-100: An extraordinary wine of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic wine of its variety. Wines of this calibre are worth a special effort to find, purchase and consume..
        • 90-95: – An outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character. In short, these are terrific wines..
        • 80-89: A barely above average to very good wine displaying various degrees of finesse and flavour as well as character with no noticeable flaws.
        • 70-79: An average wine with little distinction except that it is a soundly made. In essence, a straightforward, innocuous wine.
        • 60-69: A below average wine containing noticeable deficiencies, such as excessive acidity and/or tannin, an absence of flavour or possibly dirty aromas or flavours.
        • 50-59: A wine deemed to be unacceptable.

        Wine Spectator’s 100-Point Scale
        • 95-100: Classic: a great wine
        • 90-94: Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style
        • 85-89: Very good: a wine with special qualities
        • 80-84: Good: a solid, well-made wine
        • 75-79: Mediocre: a drinkable wine that may have minor flaws
        • 50-74: Not recommended

        Jancis Robinson
        20 – Truly exceptional
        19 – A humdinger
        18 – A cut above superior
        17 – Superior
        16 – Distinguished
        15 – Average, a perfectly nice drink with no faults but not much excitement
        14 – Deadly dull
        13 – Borderline faulty or unbalanced
        12 – Faulty or unbalanced

        Platter Rating
        95-100 / 18-20 pts Superlative. A South African Classic
        90–94 / 17–17.5 pts Outstanding
        86–89 / 16–16.5 pts Excellent
        83–85 / 15.5 pts Very good/promising
        80–82 / 15 pts Good, for early drinking
        77–79 / 14.5 pts Average, with some appeal
        73–76 / 14 pts Pleasant enough
        70–72 / 13 pts Plain and simple
        65–69 / 12 pts Unexciting
        60–64 / 11 pts Very ordinary
        50–59 / 10 pts Somewhat less than ordinary

        WineMag (if one bothered to read the rating system employed by Winemag)
        96 – 100: Extraordinary. Profound.
        93 – 95: Outstanding.
        90 – 92: Excellent.
        88 – 89: Very good – may represent a bargain depending on the price point.
        83 – 87: Above average.
        80 – 82: Fair – pleasant enough but not very exciting.
        Below 80: Poor – plain and simple. Look elsewhere.

        All of the above designate that a 90/100 rated wine is, indeed: Outstanding wine of exceptional complexity (WA), Outstanding (WS), Superior (JR), Outstanding (PR), unless they are all fools and does not know anything about wine.

        Maybe, some should also read Wine for Dummies?
        95–100: Absolutely outstanding; one of the finest wines ever
        90–94: Exceptional quality; excellent wine
        85–89: Very good quality
        80–84: Above-average quality; good
        75–79: Average commercial quality (a “C” student)
        70–74: Below average quality
        Below 70: Poor quality

        More pertinent, Professor Barry C. Smith in Questions of Taste: The Philosophy of Wine. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2009, considered three questions:

        Is the taste of a wine just an immediate, and, perhaps, incommunicable experience, for you alone?
        Can our experience in tasting a wine give us objective knowledge of the wine itself?
        Can we rely on expert tasters to tell us what the wine’s characteristics and qualities really are?

        “meh, bleh” sounds a bit sheepish to me, doesn’t it?

      Kevin R | 9 March 2020

      In Christian’s defense, “lovely aperitif wine” is distinctly different from “lovely wine.”

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