Aaaaahhhh. Breath. Spring is in the air and it’s time to celebrate. And what would a spring celebration be without a glass of something clean, fresh and crisp?
Sauvignon Blanc is an incredible variety with a vast array of styles and flavour components – hence its popularity among consumers. Most wine producers have a Sauvignon on their product list, and, although some winemakers are persisting with the green, grassy, herbaceous sort, a trend towards more tropical, fruity and ripe styles is evident. The most common flavour profiles of Sauvignon Blanc include:
A great way of getting to grips with this variety is by trying a wine made in each of these styles. And there’s no better way to do this than to work your way through the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10.
I recently had the opportunity to taste my way through the line-up, and my-oh-my was I blown away. The Sauvignon Blanc competition was started in 2007 by Wine magazine and is now run by the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group (SBIG) and is sponsored by FNB. It aims to promote innovation and excellence in the category and to reward those endeavouring to make wines of true distinction.
A total of 195 wines were entered, whittled down by a five-person panel to the Top 10 Sauvignon Blancs for 2012. The judging panel was chaired by wine writer Christian Eedes and included Miguel Chan, group sommelier for Tsogo Sun hotels, Richard Kershaw MW of Richard Kershaw Wines, Mark Norrish, wine division general manager of Ultra Liquors and Erika Obermeyer of Graham Beck Wines and chairperson of SBIG.
So, without further ado, the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 for 2012:
Tropical and fruity
Flavour components: lush, tropical flavours and aromas of papaya, guava, banana and pineapple, coupled with stonefruit (apricot, peach, and nectarine) and some citrus elements. Floral notes include orange blossom and geranium.
Flinty and mineral
Flavour components: more austere, lean flavours and aromas such as gunflint, river pebbles, steel and smokiness, coupled with earthy undertones and mushroom, damp earth and the smell of rain falling on a dirt road.
Blackcurrant leaf, elderberry and oak influence
Flavour components: fragrant aromas and flavours of blackcurrant leaf, passion fruit, granadilla, cassis and mulberries. Also yellow apple, tangerine and some herbal notes. Wooded examples show spicy flavours and aromas.
Spicy and herbaceous
Flavour components: racy flavours and aromas such as capsicum, paprika, fresh and canned asparagus, tinned peas, grass, nettles, English gooseberry, grass, tomato vine, celery and herbs.
Want to try all of these wines? A mixed case, including one bottle of each of the winning wines, will be sold through the Wade Bales Wine Society in limited quantities for just R790.
I love wine – simple as that! I must be one of the luckiest people on earth as my job (web editor of this website) allows me to submerge myself in the world of South African wine each and every day. I hope you enjoy discovering our country’s best wines and wineland experiences with me.