The trick to world-beating Sauvignon Blanc according to some is to maximise both your pyrazine- and thiol-derived flavours and then ensure some kind of balance between the two.
Koetshuis from De Grendel has always been one such wine – dramatic in its youth but how does it age? To explore this, a bottle of the 2010, a wine which rated 4½ Stars in the 2011 edition of Platter’s.
50% of the grapes were sourced from Darling, the rest own fruit and everything in both vineyard and cellar done to ensure a bigger and bolder end-result: grapes picked ripe, longer skin contact, longer cold settling as well as extended lees contact after fermentation with batonage at more frequent intervals than usual.
This wine has had my grudging respect in the past but I think there’s an inherent awkwardness to it that is becoming more marked as time goes by. There are attractive notes of green melon and honey but not-so-attractive notes of tinned peas, gravel road dustiness and intense white pepper. The palate is rich and full with tangy acidity – a good core of fruit but also lots of pyrazine character, the result being that the wine is pulled in different directions. Still arresting but lacking grace.