De Grendel Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Composed.

Holding up.

“Sauvignon Blanc gets drunk too young,” is an oft-heard lament from winemakers who champion the grape. Having recently tried the Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2009, which caused me to think it hadn’t been drunk young enough, a bottle of the even older Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc 2007 from De Grendel in Durbanville.

A wine positioned very much at the green end of the flavour spectrum with notes of green bean, green pepper, fynbos and perhaps some lime, it still had great composure with crisp acidity and a long, dry finish. Nothing “soupy” about it.

Score: 86/100.

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4 Comments

  1. KwispedoorJune 3, 2013 at 1:04 pmReply

    Apologies – bad memory re the Baronne. I’ll argue though, that methoxypyrazine compounds are indeed fruit derived (not from wood, fermentation, etc.) Whether people like it or not, should not be debated as that is simply a matter of taste.

    In fact, it may be argued that thiol-driven sauvignon (considered “fruity” by most who taste it) have less to do with fruit, as sulphur plays a large role in the development of thiols. But maybe you or someone else more knowledgeable than me can enlighten me on this one: if pyrazines do not come from the grapes themselves, where do they come from?

    • ChristianJune 3, 2013 at 2:42 pmReplyAuthor

      You are correct about pyrazines being strictly of the grape rather than a secondary characteristic but what I’m arguing is that contrived “green” character (from a deliberately shaded canopy, picking early or whatever) is something we ought to move beyond. I’m not saying that pyrazines don’t have their place but great Sauvignon surely displays balance and synergy between both pyrazines and thiols.

      More generally, my comment about great wine being about fruit stands in the sense that”ripe” is better than “green” but also better than “dead”. Sounds simple in theory…

  2. ChristianJune 3, 2013 at 11:35 amReplyAuthor

    Hi Kwispedoor, Four points more than the current-release Baronne… It might look like the Koetshuis is hard done by but I’m increasingly convinced that great wine is about fruit first and foremost and pyrazine-driven Sauvignon is typically short on that.

  3. KwispedoorJune 3, 2013 at 10:45 amReply

    Only one point more than current-release Baronne… As you might know, I don’t have that pyrazine aversion, provided a wine has complexity and “…great composure with crisp acidity and a long, dry finish.” Send the rest of it my way! ;-)

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