Donovan Ackermann Wild Ferment Blanc Fumé 2015

Donovan Ackermann Wild Ferment Blanc Fumé 2015


What to make of wooded Sauvignon Blanc? By virtue of its time in oak, it typically doesn’t have quite the same purity and freshness of unwooded Sauvignon Blanc nor does it have the extra complexity of a Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend.

Done well, however, it does gain extra dimension compared to unwooded Sauvignon and in the case of the 2015 from Donovan Ackermann, assistant winemaker at Strandveld in Elim, also benefits from not being inoculated with a commercial yeast.

The wine is a somewhat idiosyncratic but nevertheless intriguing proposition. On the nose, green and yellow apple, some sea spray and white pepper. The palate, meanwhile, is rich and full, tangy acidity lending balance, the finish particularly savoury. Price: R145 a bottle.

#WinemagRating: 90/100.

Find our South African wine ratings database here.

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  1. Pierre RabieMay 11, 2016 at 5:04 pmReply

    Fantastic wine from Donovan. I had the privilege of enjoying it more than once. Such a pleasure to enjoy a wooded Sauvignon at various stages of its lifetime.

  2. Tim JamesMay 11, 2016 at 11:26 amReply

    I don’t think that straight sauvignons – including oaked ones like Reyneke Reserve, for example – are doomed to less complexity than those blended with semillon. The 17-year old Vergelegen tasted at Michael Fridjhon’s old wine tasting before the Trophy Wine Show this year is another compelling argument. Internationally, so would be many examples from the Loire, or Ch Margaux’s Pavillon Blanc. Conversely, adding semillon is no guarantee of “extra complexity”.

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