Given that the Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend that is GVB White from Vergelegen in Somerset West is rightfully much celebrated, I was intrigued to revisit the two component parts as single-variety wines. Tasting notes and ratings for the current-release 2017s as follows:
Vergelegen Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Grapes from the famous Schaapenberg vineyard, 2.5ha in size and planted in 1988 – 60 rows of grapes destroyed by fire just before harvest but still considered one of the best vintages ever by winemaker André van Rensburg. Fermented and matured for eight months in a combination of 2 500-litre foudre and 363-litre stainless steel drums.
An exotic nose of lime, grapefruit, granadilla and blackcurrant with some fresh herbs in the background – recalls New Zealand more than the Loire. The palate is rich and full with coated acidity and a gently savoury finish. Seamlessly assembled, this makes for a wonderfully multi-dimensional drinking experience. Alcohol: 14.41%.
Editor’s rating: 92/100.
Vergelegen Reserve Semillon 2017
Fermented and matured in 224-litre French oak barrels, 25% new. A rather shy nose with subtle notes of hay, white peach, oak spice and white pepper. The palate is rich and broad with nicely integrated acidity and a savoury finish. Not quite as striking as the Sauvignon Blanc but quite clear to see why the two varieties as grown on this property marry so well.
Editor’s rating: 91/100.
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