Partway through a mega-tasting of South African Sauvignon Blanc. I love Hugh Johnson’s line about Sauvignon – ‘it has a loud voice but not a musical one’. In short doses, it can be great, but en masse… New Zealand is probably the source of the shrillest wines. The annual NZ trade tasting used to have a huge table in the middle of the room along which all that year’s Savvies (I loathe that term) were arrayed. By about wine 15, boredom had set in. By wine 30, you were beginning to feel somewhat jaded. By wine 50, the emotion was closer to despair, because you were less than halfway through the line-up. By the end, you’d rather rip your toenails off and eat them in a quiche than drink a glass of Sauvignon.
Rather than risk such fatigue, I’m doing these wines in short runs, ordered by vintage and alcohol levels. Just finished the 2007s, which range from bimbo/confected wines to what I call camels – as in tight as said beast’s rear end in a sand storm. I’ve blogged about wines being released too early before – here were several that won’t be in their stride for several months. It’ll be interesting to see how I get on with the 2006s this afternoon. The stars of the 2007s are Quando, La Motte Pierneef, Raka, Cederberg, Elgin Vintners and Klein Constantia. What marks them out is that there is a little accompaniment to conceal their shrillness – I’d probably be sipping a glass of one of them now, were it not for the fact that I have to taste another 40 wines in a couple of hours. Wish me luck.
PS Just come across a wonderful headline for a wine article in an American paper –
Medley of flavors enlivens halibut
Now why do I find that funny….?