Whilst many wine farmers may not feel that they make money out of their wines, Sanlam Private Investments Director of Investments Alwyn van der Merwe said that one can make money by investing in fine wines, quoting a 6,5 % return on 2006 wines. The Livex Fine Wine 100 index, tracking a hundred of the world’s most desired wines, has increased by 40% since 2006. There is a good supply of quality wines, with heritage, a legacy, and with craftmanship. Creating successful wines are the ‘passionate people of the industry’. It was on this note that the Christian Eedes Top Ten Cabernet Sauvignon wines for 2012 were presented on Thursday, sponsored by Sanlam Private Investments.
Whilst being a judge in a number of wine competitions, including Veritas Awards, Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, and Platter’s Wine Guide, Christian Eedes remarked that he is ‘bemused at the state of wine competitions in South Africa’, and he said that some of their results ‘are curious’. He feels that wine competitions should be held for ‘talent spotting’, to identify the ‘best of a bunch’, especially the undiscovered wines, and to recognise those wines that deserve to be at the ‘top of the pile’. ‘Cabernet Sauvignon is a much-loved variety, and a category in which South Africa traditionally does well’, and this led Eedes to choose this variety for evaluation, showcasing the ‘potential of this variety to produce wines that can compete with the world’s best’. It is the second most planted variety locally, at 12%, but is often overlooked against other varieties, he feels.
Eedes therefore invited 50 Cabernet Sauvignon wine producers to participate in his competition, and this grew to 60 after he received requests by others to be included too. He explained the methodology as being blind tasting of the wines, a responsibility which he shared with Roland Peens of Wine Cellar and James Pietersen, the Group Sommelier of Belthazar and Balducci restaurants. The winning wines were rated on points out of 20/stars out of 5, as per the Platter rating system. The majority of winning wines were 2009 vintages. The list of Top 10 Cabernet Sauvignons was announced as follows:
Delaire Reserve 2009 (5 stars)
De Trafford 2009 (5 stars)
Graham Beck The Coffeestone 2009 (5 stars)
Tokara 2009 (5 stars)
Cederberg Five Generations 2009 (4,5 stars)
Rickety Bridge Paulina’s Reserve 2009 (4,5 stars)
Stark-Conde 2009 (4,5 stars)
Stark-Conde Three Pines 2009 (4,5 stars)
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2007 (4 stars)
Louis 2008 (4 stars)
Eedes highlighted the role of Social Media, praising the ‘mutually supportive ethos amongst Bloggers and Tweeters’, especially as he comes from a print media background (past editor of Wine) which still is cynical towards the ‘New World’ communication style. Eedes has left the print media world, and has embraced Social Media, writing the Blog ‘What I drank last night’, Tweets (@ChristianEedes), and Facebooks. He added that his Social Media colleagues have ‘exceeded his expectations‘.
DISCLOSURE: We received a bottle of Graham Beck The Coffeestone 2009 with our media pack.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage