Bernhard Veller, cellarmaster at Durbanville winery Nitida is pretty intent on coming up with the ultimate Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend and in 2009 bottled three different versions namely Coronata, Coronata Integration and Aureus.
Coronata straightaway becomes a rarity because thought it was tasted by both Wine magazine (4½ Stars) and Platter’s 2011 (4½ Stars), it is not being made available to the public. Coronata Integration is the standard commercial release (again 4½ Stars in both Wine magazine and Platter’s) selling for R115 a bottle from the tasting room while Aureus was the CWG selection which fetched an average price per bottle of R163 at last year’s auction.
In all instances the wine is a blend of 56% Sauvignon Blanc (fermented in tank) and 44% Semillon (fermented and matured in new French oak for three months). The two components were then blended and returned to second- and third-fill barrels, the Coronata spending the least amount of time in barrel as a blend (unspecified), the Aureus six months and the Coronata Integration seven (as I understand it).
I’ve tasted all three wines on different occasions and think they’re all excellent, finding it difficult to put a pin between them in terms of quality. The straight Coronata presents as the freshest and the Coronata Integration the one with the most heft with Aureus somewhere in between, as you might suspect given their respective exposure to oak.
Re-looking the Coronata Integration last night, it showed a subtle herbaceous note, floral perfume and oak spice on the nose while on the palate the integration really was commendable. Good fruit expression, gentle acidity and well judged oak. Flavours of tangerine, green melon, vanilla and green pepper. A thoroughly enjoyable bottle of wine.