It may not be the most inspiring looking bottle in the world, but this South African Sauvignon Blanc has a lot going for it.
Although it has the appearance of an ineffectual flowery French or Italian table wine from the 1980s, it’s immediately apparent on opening that this is a great example of a grape whose strength and identity is leading the way in New World varietal wine marketing.
Often associated with New Zealand (especially Marlborough), and almost as often nowadays with Chile, Sauvignon Blanc in the New World is chiefly a dry, easy-drinking, citrus-heavy wine. In South Africa it’s often overlooked in favour of the more widely planted Chenin Blanc (a flagship grape in the country) and oaked and unoaked Chardonnays, depending on your taste for oak.
This is the first South African take on the grape I’ve tried and it has all the green and refreshing lime and gooseberry flavours I’ve come to expect from a good New World Sauvignon, with a possible hint of a pleasant Viognier-like oiliness and fruitiness; I opened it up to accompany some cod goujons and sweet potato chips and it was the ideal accompaniment.
Quite unusually and contrary to my expectations, the wine was even better when I reopened the screw-cap the next day; whether this was due to the phase of the moon or some subtle change in my own physiology, I don’t know – it’s more likely that I was just paying more attention when drinking the wine on its own, rather than enjoying the qualities I expected to find in it.
But where it had struck me as a solid if unsurprising example of a SB when I glugged it straight from opening the day before, having had a while to get accustomed to its environment it developed a slightly more tropical tone; there was a distinct flavour of pineapple among the chiefly citrus fruit flavours: sweet, sour and tangy and with a warm and possibly woody finish reminiscent of butterscotch. It may sound unlikely for a decidedly green grape to produce flavours normally associated with the malolactastic likes of Chardonnay, but I stand by my assertion: there was a definite element of butterscotch there. I’d stake my life on it!
Rather than take my word for it, why not give it a try yourself? I bought mine from The Village Vine in Parkstone.
It’s not on your website yet but you can order it online here. However, it was at least a few quid cheaper than that in Parkstone – particularly as I bought it as part of a 6-bottles-for-10%-off deal.
Anything at or under the ten pound marks registers as a bargain as far as I’m concerned – Cape Diversity‘s Sauvignon Blanc is a complex and intriguing wine that offers more than the standard Sauvignon Blanc experience – a must try for anyone interested in the grape.