Bernhard Veller's (Nitida) commentaar op zijn resultaat bij de Veritas Awards

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"Some you win and some you don't"

We are really proud of ourselves. Nitida was the best performing small cellar (under 10 000 cases) at Veritas this year, receiving a total of 10 medals.

In total 1567 wines were entered.

We got one of 47 double gold medals given (of which 12 were for "soetes")

and one of 127 gold medals.

The double is for our Pinotage 2003 - top 3 pinotages in SA

(we expected it to be this years sauvignon blanc or semillon)

The gold medal is for our Sauvignon Blanc 2003

149 sauvignon blanc wines were entered (3rd biggest category) - no double golds given

(strange but true given some stunners out there this year)

(we think the 2004 is going to be better and newly in the bottle it did get 16 points - a silver)

no double golds or golds given to semillon

(we are as confused as you)

Nitida semillon 2004 - one of 5 silvers

Both 2002 shiraz and calligraphy were given silvers which we think is a great result for these elegant styles - we are really excited that the young 2003 khameileon, calligraphy and shiraz all received bronze awards when tasted just 2 ½ weeks after bottling - bodes really well for next years performance.

The case for Veritas

At Nitida we enter competitions to monitor the consistency of our performance, the styles that are driving the various panels - from the media to our peers - and of course there is always the chance that we will do well with all its pr opportunities.

As a producer, we have to understand that each show has different tasters, different evaluation criteria and various degrees of competition - so "some you win and some you don't".

At the Cape Town Veritas tasting last night, it became obvious again that Veritas is the whipping horse of a number of media people - for reasons as diverse as - having their own competitive shows, being excluded from judging sometimes on the basis of incompetence, or just jumping on the bandwagon of negativism. For my part, I believe that the show has failed to counter this commentary with effective and informative press of its own - so in my small way - here I go again on the case for Veritas and against the Veritas bashers.

With other competitions, we are happy to accept the opinion of a panel of 3 wine critics but moan about the Veritas panels of 7 of our peers - where each panel is a specialist cultivar panel of which 4 or 5 are usually winemakers, with   the balance made up of wine masters, international judges, acknowledged   palates & media.

The tasting schedules - despite the enormous number of wines entered are no more taxing than other show as they can be tasted over more days.

Veritas is the only show which statistically cross-checks both wines and judges for consistency and accuracy.

It is also the only show that collects wines from the producer's premises to minimise (hopefully prevent in most cases) the practice of entering "modified samples for show".

Not only has the judging become much more stringent over the last 5 years, the results are also not modified to fit into a predetermined percentage of medals - if the median score of a wine is 15 it gets a bronze, 16 it gets a silver, 17 a gold and where all 7 judges give it 17 or more it gets a double gold. So it is probably the only show that gives an absolute indication of the quality of the wine rather than a relative one.

 

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