Sau­vi­gnon for all sea­sons

Sau­vi­gnon Blanc is SA’S favourite white wine. The wines made from this zesty, re­fresh­ing white grape are the per­fect match for a hot sum­mer’s day, writes Gra­ham Howe

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

THE Cape’s great di­ver­sity of ter­roir gives birth to a broad spec­trum of six Sau­vi­gnon styles: trop­i­cal, green/herba­ceous, wooded/bar­rel fer­mented, flinty/min­eral, cool­cli­mate and cas­sis/el­der­berry.

The an­nual FNB Top 10 Sau­vi­gnon Blanc awards cel­e­brate the qual­ity and re­gion­al­ity of this cul­ti­var. Watch out for the 2012 Top 10 — from wine re­gions spread through­out Cape Agul­has, Breedek­loof, Ceder­berg, Dar­ling, Dur­banville, El­gin and Stel­len­bosch. This year’s win­ners are Clos Malverne, De Morgenzon, Diemers­dal, Driehoek, Du Toit­skloof, Groote Post, Lomond, Neeth­ling­shof, Si­mon­sig Sun­bird and Vir­gin Earth.

De Bos Sau­vi­gnon Blanc 2012. This Fair­trade “hand­crafted” range is made on the ninth gen­er­a­tion farm of the Bos­man fam­ily in Welling­ton. Sourced from vine­yards in the Hemel-en-Aarde Val­ley in Walker Bay, it is a cool-cli­mate me­lange of kiwi, goose­berry and pas­sion fruit with flinty min­er­al­ity and sub­tle grassy fyn­bos nu­ances.

De Gren­del Sau­vi­gnon Blanc 2012. The his­toric home of the Graaff fam­ily on the slopes of Tyger­berg Hill in Dur­banville pro­duces dis­tinct cool­cli­mate wines. Cel­lar master Charles Hop­kins makes two styles of Sau­vi­gnon — in the rich granadilla and fig trop­i­cal style, and in the greener as­para­gus and goose­berry style of Koet­shuis.

Dombeya Sau­vi­gnon Blanc 2012. This pre­mium range from high-ly­ing Haskell Vine­yards in Stel­len­bosch is made by renowned wine­maker Rianie Stry­dom. Pas­sion fruit, goose­berry, green figs and guava give clas­sic ex­pres­sion to the va­ri­ety in a zesty wine bil­low­ing with aroma and flavour.

Du Toit­skloof Sau­vi­gnon Blanc 2012. Cel­e­brat­ing its 50th an­niver­sary this year, the win­ner of the best value cel­lar award 2012 won a cov­eted place in the 2012 FNB Top Ten Sau­vi­gnon Blanc Com­pe­ti­tion. One of South Africa’s best-sell­ing Sau­vi­gnon Blancs de­liv­ers value for money in a wine that bursts with ripe trop­i­cal fruit.

Groote Post Sau­vi­gnon Blanc 2012. Win­ning a spot in the 2012 FNB Top Ten Sau­vi­gnon Blanc Com­pe­ti­tion, this his­toric wine farm in Dar­ling has won recog­ni­tion for mak­ing cool­cli­mate wines of great in­ten­sity and com­plex­ity. Lay­ered with flavours of granadilla, green fig and green pep­per, the new vin­tage dis­plays sig­na­ture min­er­al­ity.

La Motte

Pierneef Sau­vi­gnon Blanc 2012. Made from or­ganic grapes grown in the Walker Bay area, this pre­mium Sau­vi­gnon bears a replica work of cel­e­brated artist Pierneef on the la­bel. Re­flect­ing its cool-cli­mate ori­gins, this scin­til­lat­ing wine shows goose­berry, green ap­ple and fyn­bos flavours with a fresh core of min­er­al­ity. Le Bon­heur Sau­vi­gnon Blanc 2012. Wine­maker Sakkie Kotzé cel­e­brates 20 years on this his­toric Stel­len­bosch farm with a sin­gle vine­yard wine made from 35year-old vines — on the site where the first Sau­vi­gnon Blanc was planted in the Cape in 1928. Flinty and full-bod­ied, it com­bines green and trop­i­cal flavours in a very dis­tinct wine.

New­stead Sau­vi­gnon Blanc 2012. The maiden vin­tage from Lund Fam­ily Vine­yards comes from the new­est win­ery in the Plet­ten­berg wine of ori­gin. Grown in the cool-cli­mate Crags, this lim­ited edi­tion un­der a strik­ing black and white la­bel ex­presses fresh green fruit in a wine with sub­tle lime, goose­berry and pas­sion fruit nu­ances.

Plaisir de Merle Sau­vi­gnon Blanc 2012. Cel­e­brat­ing 20 years at Dis­tell’s show­piece cel­lar in the Fran­schhoek Val­ley, cel­lar master Niel Bester has re­leased a su­perb new vin­tage. He de­scribes it as “Fresh, full and rich with mouth-fill­ing sweet, fresh trop­i­cal flavours of pas­sion fruit, pineap­ple and the typ­i­cal green net­tle hints.”

Spring­field Life from Stone Sau­vi­gnon Blanc 2012. Made from a sin­gle vine­yard planted in rocky quartz soils, th­ese old vines pro­duce a cult Sau­vi­gnon Blanc that lives up to its po­etic name. A dra­matic wine that bursts with ripe granadilla, peas and pep­pers, this bone-dry wine has a core of flinty min­er­al­ity.

Stel­len­bosch Hills Sau­vi­gnon Blanc 2012. Made from grapes picked at op­ti­mum ripeness to pre­serve flavours, only free-run juice was used to make this cold­fer­mented wine. The re­sult is a star bright Sau­vi­gnon with abun­dant green trop­i­cal fruit with kiwi, star fruit and melon nu­ances in a lus­cious, full-bod­ied wine.

Stel­len­zicht Golden Tri­an­gle Sau­vi­gnon Blanc 2012. Now un­der a stylish new la­bel that cap­tures the sym­me­try of the farm’s vine­yards in Stel­len­bosch, Guy Web­ber says this range ex­presses ter­roir and cul­ti­var. Sub­tle nu­ances of fig and green pep­pers de­velop into a mouth­ful of crisp as­para­gus, goose­berry, litchi and green pep­per flavours.

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