The Savage Selection Philosophy
Savage Selection is the distillation of many years of personal experience on the world's wine routes, both the obscure and the well trodden. I will hardly argue with those who describe the result as eclectic, esoteric or even eccentric. If the motivating goal is originality, as it most certainly is, then how could our selection be anything else? With the accelerating standardisation of modern life, we have a firm commitment to the cause of the small winegrower, for if our own experience has taught us anything, it is that originality in wine is found only at the door of the artisan, individual, family enterprise that still regards wine as an essentially agricultural, rather than industrial product. We wish to work in the world of vineyards and small cellars, not grape processing plants. Our aim is to identify integrity, to distinguish the real from the fake, the original from the copy. It is increasingly easy today even for a competent wine taster to be fooled into thinking that something is good or genuine when it is not and we have to be vigilant if we are not to become victims of the deceptions that are easily constructed by unscrupulous I producers and marketing experts.
Self evidently, our struggle against the forces of standardisation on the one hand and exaggerated claims to excellence on the other will only succeed if there are still enough intelligent consumers out there to help us provide an incentive to producers to fly the flag of honesty and independence. It is up to you, therefore, to decide whether the course of civilisation remains in the hands of the human spirit or more sinister commercial forces.
Our independence ensures that we buy on the basis of our own experience and conviction rather than that of other wine critics, however well respected. Likewise we remain unimpressed by claims to be 'award-winning' or 'world class' and we are not interested in scores, since they so often reflect levels of concentration rather than finesse, two concepts that should never be confused. It is an absurd illusion to try to quantify anything as subjective as taste. The civilised pleasure of wine lies in the subtleties of harmony and originality, in the intriguing and elusive spirit of place that is the defining feature of real wine. As with good cuisine, the best approach to winemaking is simplicity, with an emphasis on what is natural rather than contrived. You do not make the ground speak by constant manipulation of its product and the voice of 'terroir' is a soft whisper at the best of times, easy to miss and even more easily silenced by insensitive winemaking technique. The growers in our stable are selected by us because they share that belief in what is essential to real wine as opposed to the brain-dead brand. They want their wines to be individual, unique expressions and they have the intelligence, the expertise and the magic ingredient of intuition required to achieve that goal.