Oak Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010 vs. Steenberg H.M.S. Rattlesnake Sauvignon Blanc 2010
By Christian Eedes, 20 December 2011
While waiting for the Woolies free range chicken to cook on the Weber last night, two examples of Sauvignon Blanc presenting a stark contrast in styles.
The Oak Valley 2010 (including 2% Semillon according to Platter’s 2012 and about 3% wild fermented in barrel) was lean to the point of angular. A shy nose before a palate showing lime fruit and some attractive herbaceousness, the finish being super-dry almost saline. This is austere stuff as witnessed by a total acidity of 8g/l and a pH of 2.82. Score: 16/20.
The Steenberg H.M.S. Rattlesnake 2010 (Darling, Durbanville and Constantia fruit, 25% of each of the three components fermented in large-format barrels) was the antithesis of the Oak Valley. Rich and powerful with pronounced asparagus and green bean aromas and flavours. Acidity not nearly as pronounced and overall the wine starting to come across as a bit “soupy”. Score: 15.5/20.