‘Top 100 SA Wines’ competition intriguing, but you wonder…

NOW IN ITS second year, Top 100 SA Wines has a few things going for it as an authoritative competition, e.g. the sommelier, several Masters of Wine and some leading winemakers involved in managing the tasting procedures and judging processes, contributing to credible results. However, although there are a number of top cellars among the entrants there are too many glaring omissions on the part of prominent wineries and there’s not enough attention to detail in some areas. Jordan of Stellenboschkloof, Saronsberg of Tulbagh, Cederberg and Lomond near Gansbaai in the Cape Agulhas district (wines made at The Bergkelder in Stellenbosch) were the most successful cellars in terms of the number of different wines that got the nod. Also successful were Alvi’s Drift (between Worcester and Villiersdorp), Ernie Els and Longridge (both on the Helderberg side of Stellenbosch). The full list is posted on the Top 100 website, and that’s where you start to wonder…
 
The show organisers are outspoken about wanting to help re-position South Africa’s top wines, but should we believe that it was simply a case of the missing greats choosing not to enter (in which case why, if they enter other contests?), or that not a single one of their entries was deemed worthy of even the hundredth spot? i.e. no room for De Trafford? Graham Beck? Hartenberg? Kanonkop? Nederburg? Rijk’s? Rust en Vrede? Spier? Steenberg? Thelema? Vergelegen? Waterford?
 
Wanting to know more about the competition and about the Top 100 CEO Robin von Holdt, one morning after the book launch I tried to order a copy of the publication… They tell you to write to an e-mail address… Nobody responded after five or six hours so I phoned… The number is that of a sponsor (Rodwell House hotel) rather than a dedicated Top 100 person… Apparently somebody was on leave, the somebody who should’ve responded to my mail… But somebody else would help, they said… Somebody asked whether I wanted to collect from the hotel, but the hotel’s too far out of my way… I’m still waiting to pay, still wondering how much postage will cost, still without a book…