JD Pretorius, cellarmaster Steenberg, says Sauvignon Blanc is always going to be the “business card” of this Constantia property – 64% of a total of 60ha under vine is planted to this variety. He made 8 000 12-bottle cases of the so-called super-premium Sauvignon Blanc 2016 and this sells for R125 a bottle. It also happened to be one of only two South African wines to win gold at this year’s Concours Mondial du Sauvignon (the other being Diemersdal MM Louw 2016) and you gather Steenberg is that rare entity in the winelands, a going concern. Tasting notes and ratings for the current releases as follows:
Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Includes 12% Semillon, half of which was barrel fermented; two months of lees contact. Green pepper, lime and honeydew melon. Rich and full with coated acidity.
Editor’s rating: 87/100.
Steenberg Rattlesnake Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Includes 10% Semillon, fermented and matured for seven months in 600-litre barrels, 20% new. Green pepper but also some peach and an intriguing hint of white pepper. Sweet on entry, the acidity seemingly more moderate than its unwooded counterpart above.
Editor’s rating: 89/100.
Steenberg The Black Swan Sauvignon Blanc 2106
From two top vineyard blocks. A somewhat shy but alluring nose of lime, green apple, a hint of blackcurrant and a little spearmint. Pure and fresh on the palate with gently savoury finish – very nicely judged.
Editor’s rating: 91/100.
Steenberg Semillon 2016
Fermented and matured for nine months in 600-litre barrels, 35% new. Pear, peach and naartjie plus a hint of white pepper. Nice palate weight and seemingly moderate acidity.
Editor’s rating: 90/100.
Steenberg Merlot 2014
Matured for 14 months in barrel, 60% new. Oyster shell, red and black fruit, some black olive plus a little herbal lift but not nearly as green as in years gone by. The palate is medium bodied with fresh acidity and fine tannins, it’s understatement to its credit.
Editor’s rating: 88/100.
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