Oct 10 2008

Some reds suck, others taste like burnt rubber

Published by at 3:59 pm under Companies,Top Stories

UK wine journalist Jamie Goode doesn’t write about South African wine often. When he does, he picks the “difficult” topics. Such as Pinotage and “burnt rubber”.

You’ll remember that Jamie was the guy who wrote  “Pinotage sucks” and “Pinotage is vile” and “anyone who likes it lacks a decent palate”. Yesterday he published a video on his blog of a very interesting debate. The topic: Does Cape red wines have a “burnt rubber” character?  

It shows a number of SA’s best winemakers in debate with a number of critical UK wine journalists. Go there and then read Tim James’ explanation as published in Grape in June this year. 

But, Jamie doesn’t only write negative things about Cape wines. Here he had a few very nice words for a Julian Schaal Syrah and the ‘C’ and ‘M’ pair of Vilafonte wines (scroll down on his blog for these two posts).

In fact, it’s only when it comes to Pinotage that he loses his cool somewhat. Like I lose my cool when I hear the word “Sangiovese”.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Some reds suck, others taste like burnt rubber”

  1. Paul Bulason 11 Oct 2008 at 4:52 pm

    I think that, in general, the talk of “burnt rubber”, “nail varnish”, etc. has bedevilled the subject of South African reds for far too long, and has had the effect of many disticntive SA wines moving into the bland and faceless territory of internationalization and uniformity. What is it, fundamentally, in winespeak that makes the aforementioned aromas inherently “bad”, while other strange-sounding descriptors used to classify many a classic European wine (e.g. barnyard) inherently “good”? Answer: it’s all about convention!

    This comes from a Canadian who discovered South African Pinotage in the “old style” back in 1998, and who went on to realize that Pinotage, done in that very style, was his favourite red wine of all. Nowadays in Ontario, we see hardly any of these wines: it is as if all the modern ones have amplified alcohol and no personality.

    I can’t look at the change and call in progress when juxtaposed against the myriad wines from all over the world made in exactly the same style nowadays. There should be room on the proverbial wine shelf for wines of ALL styles – including the old South African style that some of us out there actually really enjoy.

  2. adminon 13 Oct 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post. It’s really appreciated. From one Pinotage fan to another!


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