Close on 10,000 hectares of South Africa’s vineyards are planted with Sauvignon Blanc, and this “Wild White” can excel as a barrel-aged bottle headed for the cellar or a fresh and zesty youngster ready for drinking just months after harvest.
Doringbay Sauvignon Blanc
The Doringbay Sauvignon Blanc from Fryer’s Cove doesn’t take itself too seriously, and is a wonderful example of a crisp dry Sauvvie for summer. Picked from coastal vineyards on the West Coast, it’s a wine brimming with minerality and passion fruit. Enjoy it young, preferably with a platter of seafood.
Pofadderbos Sauvignon Blanc
Coastal influence also shines through in the wonderful Pofadderbos Sauvignon Blanc from Strandveld Vineyards. Sourced from a single vineyard, winemaker Conrad Vlok and his team may have to dodge the puff adders here during harvest, but I’d say it’s a risk well worth taking. Expect lashings of tropical fruit on the nose, balanced by a creamy, full-bodied palate with a touch of minerality.
On his Stellenbosch estate winemaker Gary Jordan is known for pushing a few boundaries, and The Outlier is a fitting name for his barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc. Grapes are fermented in French oak barrels and spend eight months sur lie (maturing on the “lees”, or dead yeast cells), before being blended with a portion of tank-fermented Sauvignon Blanc. The result? A wine that marries the complexity of oak with the freshness and fruit of a traditional Sauvignon. It’s superb.
Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc
As is the Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc from Stellenbosch winemaker Neil Ellis. Made from bush vine vineyards near Darling, this complex Sauvvie offers a mouthful of citrus and tropical fruits balanced by a long, lingering finish. Little surprise the 2015 vintage picked up five stars in the current Platter’s Wine Guide.
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sur Lie Sauvignon Blanc
Along with bagging five-stars in Platter’s, the Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sur Lie Sauvignon Blanc 2015 also picked up a double-gold at last year’s Veritas Awards. Sourced from three unique vineyard sites in Stellenbosch, Durbanville and Darling, the wine spent seven months sur lie, so expect a nose of gooseberry and white peach, balanced by a richer, rounded palate.
Taste for yourself:
Words: Richard Holmes