quote:Originally posted by GregT:quote:Kind of shocking to see people dismissing an entire country's wines.
It's true that they can do a fine job in SA with some varieties - at one point they were even renowned for their sweet wine. Most assuredly a wine needn't be a wow wine to be drinkable. In many cases what you're seeing in the posts is the reaction to the wines that have been made widely available outside of South Africa rather than the reaction to a few wines that aren't yet known. But many of the producers there will acknowledge that for years, their wines weren't top-shelf stuff.
I feel the same way when it comes to Chile - I'm certain that they can make good reds, but those that show up in the US tend not to be all that great. And having tasted them fairly widely over the years, I'm including both the cheap stuff and their highest end stuff. That's not to say they do absolutely nothing well ever, it's just that most of the time I'd rather drink their whites. I'd rather get my reds from elsewhere. Ditto Germany.
Besides, dogmatism is fun!quote:Yes, most Pinotage is plonk, but it's not made to be a Wow Wine. Still, South Africa does a fine job with several different varietals. I blind tasted the Hamilton Russell Chard a few months ago, and I was blown away...tasted more French than anything else. I immediately ordered a case for the cellar.
But then why not buy French wine? This seems like you're damning SA with faint praise indeed! The wine is so good it doesn't taste South African.
I do buy French wine! But, to say a region can do a fine "Burgundian" style Chard in SA is not a demerit because Chard is the chicken of the wine world and mostly reflects winemaking techniques. There are also many a CA Chard that I've had my nose in on a blind taste and thought I was in the Beaune, etc. Now, in most cases, there are of course other tell-tale signs that would lead you away from Burgundy and toward the New World, so the final assessment might not end up in Burgundy, but the point remains...Burgundy is obviously one of the models others follow in the production of Chard.
So, why not just buy Burgs??? Easy...Price! I can sell that Hamilton-Russell for a lot less than a Meursault and I need that kind of quality at different price points because not everyone wants to, or can, spend the $$ on a Burgundy...
Now, you'll notice when I brought up the De Toren, I didn't compare it to another style, because that wine IS indeed a good example of what a uniquely SA wine can taste like...