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Waterkloof Circle of Life White 2011

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Peculiar.

Circle of Life White is the “mystery” blend from Waterkloof in Somerset Wes, the maiden vintage2009 Sauvingon Blanc led but also including Chenin Blanc and Semillon and this presumably the template subsequently.

To date, I’ve tended to find the wine very good but more intellectually demanding rather than one which thrills or seduces, and the just-released 2011 (R120 a bottle) is no different. The 2010/2011 growing season and Waterkloof reports that harvest was a week or two earlier than normal, the grapes characterised by low acidity levels.

In the cellar, the wine was fermented with ambient yeasts, 50% in old 600-litre barrels. At the moment, the 2011 appears quite tight and closed. There’s a slight herbal note on an otherwise shy nose while the palate shows lime and peach flavour, soft but sufficient acidity (TA is 5.8g/l versus 8.4g/l in the case of the 2009 and 6.8g/l in the 2010) before a long, saline finish. Score: 16/20 – smart but somehow it left me nonplussed when I got to the end of the bottle.

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