Steenberg Black Swan Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Rara avis.

Rara avis.

On Saturday, the Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc Odyssey 2014. Lunch consisted of five courses, each served with a different flight of wines incorporating Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc in all its guises.

In particular, the event marked the official unveiling of the Black Swan 2012, the ultra-premium offering (R160 a bottle) which replaces the Sauvignon Blanc Reserve. Why the new label? “The Reserve block was starting to make us a bit nervous both in terms of quantity and quality of fruit,” says winemaker JD Pretorius.

The Reserve block, which was planted in 1988, hasn’t been completely written off just yet and supplied 60% of the grapes for Black Swan 2012 while two newer blocks, one six years old and the other nine years old, were utilised for the remainder. 10% of the wine was fermented in old 600-litre barrels and it was kept on the lees for seven months.

It’s stern stuff. There’s green bean through white peach and a touch of reduction on the nose while the palate is full-bodied and powerful with driving acidity. Rather hard work right now but there’s every indication that it will age with benefit.

Score: 90/100.

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