Judging the CWG wines – some comparison

Is it interesting to compare how different tasters rated the Cape Winemakers Guild 2012 Auction wines? I’m talking of the blind tasting recently given to a smallish group of local critics. Possibly it it is,  but if you’re looking for any consistency as to the wines liked and disliked – well, no chance. The results are all over the place in those terms. The only real point to be made from the comparison is that there was not a whole lot of agreement, and there was a whole lot of disagreement.

This could either reflect different tastes, different competencies, or the difficulty of the task – especially that it is remarkably hard to taste, one after the other in a brief time, 38 mostly highly alcoholic, heavily oaked, very youthful red wines.

This is not a scientific comparison offered here, by any means. I’ve used the following very unevenly numbered comparisons (mostly, we were scoring, not asking for top tens, etc):

  • CM: Cathy Marston’s published Top 10 and “not-to-my-taste” 3.
  • CE: Christian Eedes’s 8 wines scoring 18 or more points out of 20 from his published list of the whole range, and the 7 bottom-scorers.
  • AL: Angela Lloyd’s published list, supplemented by further information: this gives a top ten, and a list of 11 wines that achieved her bottom score
  •  TJ My own assembled list of top 13 and bottom 5 (I am publishing some comments on the wines in forthcoming articles in the Mail & Guardian).

Some comparisons first, of some of the wines.

The clear red winner, and the only wine (out of 52) mentioned by all four tasters is Ernie Els CWG 2010. Three tasters had it amongst their tops (no other wine achieved this) – but the other taster (TJ) had it at in the bottom list!

The unfavourites were a bit clear, and two wines achieved real negatives from three tasters:

  • Bouchard Finlayson Pinot Noir 2009 (Bottom for CM, AL & TJ)
  • Kleine Zalze Granite Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Bottom for CE, AL, TJ)

The other wines with two tasters agreeing:

  • Ataraxia Under the Gavel Chardonnay 2011 – Top for CE & TJ
  • De Trafford Perspective 2009 – Top for CM & CE
  • Edgebaston Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2010 – Bottom for CE & AL
  • Groot Constantia CWG Shiraz 2009 – Top for CM & TJ
  • Jordan Chardonnay Auction Reserve 2011 – Top for CM & TJ
  • Kanonkop Pinotage 2010 – Top for CM & CE
  • Louis Laika 2010 – Bottom for CE & AL
  • Luddite The Reserve Shiraz 2008 – Bottom for CE & AL
  • Paul Cluver The Wagon Trail Chardonnay 2010 – Top for AL & TJ
  • Rijks CWG Chenin Blanc 2011 – Top for AL & TJ
  • Rust en Vrede Cabernet 2009 – Top for AL & TJ
  • Tokara Auction Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – Top for CE & TJ

Some significant disagreements:

  • Cape Point Vineyards Auction Reserve White 2011 – Top for TJ & CE, Bottom for CM
  • Neil Ellis Auction Reserve 2007 – Top for CM & TJ, Bottom for AL
  • Simonsig Heirloom Shiraz 2010 – Top for CM & CE, Bottom for AL
  • De Trafford Syrah 2009 – Top for TJ, Bottom for CE
  • Etienne Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Auction Reserve 2009: Bottom for CM & CE, Top for AL
  • Saronsberg CWG Semillon 2008 – Top for CM, Bottom for AL
  • Boschkloof Shiraz 2010 – Top for AL, Bottom for TJ
  • Hartenberg Estate Auction Shiraz 2009 – Top for AL, Bottom for TJ

Well, if anyone can convincingly draw useful conclusions from all that, without insulting either one or all four of the tasters, or insulting the idea of judiciously swirl-swallow-spitting 52 serious wines in the space of a few hours – do let me know.

 

Cathy‘s list is on her blog, here.

Christian‘s complete tasting notes are on his website, here.

Angela’s list, supplementing what is on her blog:

Top (alphabetical order):

  • Boschkloof Shiraz 2010
  • Chamonix Chardonnay 2011
  • Ernie Els 2010
  • Etienne Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Auction Reserve 2009
  • Hartenberg Estate Auction Shiraz 2009
  • Paul Cluver The Wagon Trail Chardonnay 2010
  • Rijks CWG Chenin Blanc 2011
  • Rust en Vrede Cabernet 2009
  • Spier Pinotage 2009
  • Waterford Bordeaux Red 2009

 Bottom:

  • Bouchard Finlayson Pinot Noir 2009
  • De Grendel Op Die Berg 2010
  • Edgebaston Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2010
  • Kleine Zalze Granite Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
  • Louis Laika 2010
  • Luddite The Reserve Shiraz 2008
  • Neil Ellis Reserve 2007
  • Overgaauw DC Classic 2009
  • Saronsberg Semillon 2008
  • Simonsig Heirloom Shiraz 2010
  • Spier Merlot 2009

Tim’s lists, also in alphabetical order:

Top

  • Ataraxia  Under the Gavel Chardonnay 2011
  • Badenhorst Ramnas Gras 2011
  • Cape Point White 2011
  • De Trafford Syrah  2009
  • Graham Beck The Catalyst 2010
  • Groot Constantia Shiraz 2009
  • Haskell Paradigm 2008
  • Jordan Chardonnay 2011
  • Neil Ellis Reserve 2007
  • Paul Cluver Wagon Trail Chardonnay 2010
  • Rijk’s CheninBlanc 2011
  • Rust en Vrede Cabernet 2009
  • Tokara Cab 2010

Bottom:

  • Beyerskloof Traildust Pinotage 2010
  • Bouchard Finlayson Pinot Noir 2009
  • Ernie Els CWG 2010
  • Boschkloof Backhand Shiraz 2010
  • Hartenberg Shiraz 2009
  • Kleine Zalze Granite Selection Cab 2009
  • Luddite Oscar Shiraz Mourvedre 2009

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