Yesterday, Brian and Marion Smith, the English couple who own Elgin Ridge, presented a vertical tasting of all vintages of their Sauvignon Blanc to date, a fascinating insight into how a winemaking vision evolves over time.
Brian Smith says he finds too many local examples of Sauvignon Blanc excessively green and acidic and is trying to avoid that in the wine that he makes but how just how rich should this variety be?
The current-release 2015 (R125 a bottle) is the ripest he’s made to date, the alcohol on this a hefty 14.88%. It has appealing aromatics of granadilla and pineapple but the palate is a bit loose-knit, the finish slightly hot.
By contrast, the maiden vintage 2009 was the least ripe to date. Made off vineyards a mere 20 months old, it’s holding up remarkably well and shows lime, green apple and honeydew melon flavours. With an alcohol of 13.5% and a total acidity of 8.12g/l, some will find it too lean and angular but I thought it had real zip. In any event, the future for Elgin Ridge surely lies between these two extremes.
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