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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

"The South African wine industry is aware there is a problem, even if it's not very good at detecting it," says Anthony Rose. He is referring to a recent industry talking point concerning an "unpleasant off-odour and taste in some bottles" of South African wine. Described variously as burnt rubber, rhubarb or sun-dried tomato, Rose states the problem is not a new one. A British MW trip to the Cape in 1976 "set the Pinotage cause back by years" when they discovered a rusty nails smell to the wines, he reveals. It's not all bad news though as the issue is being looked into, Rose assures us, while he praises the region on its progress over the last decade. "It's heartwarming to see that a new generation of savvy winemakers has expanded the frontiers of wine to select the right match between location and grape variety."