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Sauvignon Blanc - 14th April '23

On the 4th of April we decided to have a look at the “new” style that is developing in Sauvignon Blanc. “New” by incorporating green and tropical into flavours not really encountered before in Sauvignon Blanc. Flavours and smells like elderflower, floral, orange blossoms, with white pear, lime, lemon grass, black currant and black currant leaves, kiwi fruit, Provençal herbs and potpourri. The selection was put together so that wines with characters similar to the new flavours and smells were included. Care was taken to make sure that the best wines possible were selected. A full set of notes was given to each taster detailing chemical analysis, oenology and the winemakers full set of tasting notes. Also given to each taster was a list of all the non wooded Sauvignon Blanc’s available at Makro, Liquor city and Norman Goodfellows in Johannesburg, all 300 odd of them. Both lists are available upon request. A seventh wine was tasted after the tasting had been completed. This wine was donated by Bruce Downing of Seven Oaks and was rated last, thanks for the donation Bruce! All wines were served cold and the first six together for comparison purposes. The following is the tasting, together with the notes taken from the tasters and the resultant scores.


1. Bouchard Finlayson Sauvignon Blanc 2022 (Hemel en Aarde, inoculated yeast)

Colour-light green. Nose- citrus, floral, peach, nettles. Palate- crisp acidity, salty, good minerality, pear, peach and citrus lingering to the finish.

Score- 16.22.

2. Gabrielskloof Sauvignon Blanc 2020 (Bot River, wild yeast fermented)

Colour- green to hay yellow. Nose- savory, salty, lanolin, nettles, honey. Palate- crisp acidity, pear, honey, asparagus, florals, nettles, oily, fig‘s on the finish.

Score- 16.89.

3. Spier 21 Gables Sauvignon Blanc 2021 (Tygerberg Hills, inoculated yeast)

Colour- light green, yellow rim. Nose- flint, nettles, herbs, fynbos, cats pee. Palate- crisp acidity, flint, pineapple, slightly petillance on mouth, good minerality, asparagus and nettles, perfumed.

Score- 16.78.

4. Jordan The Cold Fact Sauvignon Blanc 2021 (Stellenbosch Kloof, inoculated yeast)

Colour- light green. Nose- floral, violet, orange blossom, perfume, black currant. Palate- crisp acidity, pear, black currant, perfume, ribena, pear finish.

Score- 16.44.

5. Saxenburg Private Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2021 (Stellenbosch Valley, inoculated yeast)

Colour- light green. Nose- floral, pear, fig and lanolin. Palate- crisp acidity, soft, herbs, green, sherbet, peach and pear, which lingers to the finish.

Score- 16.56.

6. Vondeling Sauvignon Blanc 2021 (Voor Paardeberg, inoculated yeast)

Colour- green, yellowing. Nose- jasmine, flint, nettles, shy. Palate- crisp acidity, flint, minerality, medium bodied, salty, slightly green fruit.

Score- 15.67.


7. Seven Oaks Sauvignon Blanc 2022 (Breedekloof, inoculated yeast)

Colour- light green. Nose- guava, pear, passion fruit. Palate- crisp acidity, slightly sweet, passion fruit, guava, pear drops, light.

Score- 15.67.


Interesting tasting, a first time for many tasting red berry fruits and black currant in a white wine! Lots of floral and blossoms on the nose, jasmine, violet, orange blossoms, real interesting. A very closely contested tasting in the cooler areas and Stellenbosch. The two warm area Sauvignon Blanc‘s were completely different and suffered in their scores. Top wine Gabrielskloof, closely followed by Spier, Saxenburg, and Jordan. The consensus, yes there is something new evolving in South African Sauvignon Blanc, watch this space! Great tasting with lots of discussion. Thanks to all who attended!

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