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FNB Sauvignon Blanc Awards Top 10 2013 – the winners

By , 27 September 2013



SB Top 10 logoThe list of winners in the 2013 FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Awards 2013 is as follows:

Alexanderfontein Chip Off The Old Block 2013

Boschendal Reserve Collection 2013

Cape of Good Hope Altima 2013

Cape Point Vineyards Reserve 2012

Cape Point Vineyards Woolworths 2012

Franschoek Cellar Statue de Femme 2013

Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2012

Nederburg Private Bin D234 2012

Phizante Kraal 2013

Thelema 2013

The Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 competition was started in 2007 to promote innovation and excellence in the category and reward those endeavouring to make wines of true distinction.

Now held under the auspices of the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group of South Africa (SBIG) with sponsorship provided by FNB, this year attracted 207 entries (compared to 195 in 2012) and judging was done by a five-person panel chaired by me over three days in mid-August.

Key findings from this year’s judging? The green and ultra-acidic wines of around a decade ago are largely gone and instead what is emerging is a category of good basic quality but also really exciting stylistic diversity.

In years gone by, there’s been much debate about whether greener (pyrazine-derived) flavours should prevail over tropical fruit (thiol-derived) flavours or vice versa whereas now the best wines tend to show evidence of both compounds, and are more multi-faceted as a consequence.

Texture is another area where the category has shown great advances – lean and mean examples are much less to the fore and the best wines have a weight and creaminess about them, this typically the product of extended lees contact.  

Another point of intrigue for those who follow the category closely is the wide range of producing areas represented among the top performing wines: Cape Point, Darling, Durbanville, Elandskloof, Franschhoek, Olifants River, Stellenbosch and Walker Bay are all represented to a greater or lesser extent. Of the top 10 wines, six are single-property wines (Alexanderfontein, Cape of Good Hope, the Reserve from Cape Point Vineyards, Nederburg, Phizante Kraal and Thelema) and the other four are multi-regional blends.

Lastly, it should also be noted that while six of the wines are from the most recent 2013 vintage, four of them are from 2012 which should gladden the hearts of those that feel the best local Sauvignon Blanc gets drunk too young.



2 comment(s)

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    Christian | 28 September 2013

    Hi Albrecht, Judging was done by a five-person panel over three days in mid-August – 100 wines on day one, 87 on day two and 20 on day three. 37 wines then went through to a second and final round, out of which emerged the 20 finalists and ultimately the top 10.

    The fact that entries have grown from 169 in 2011 to 195 in 2012 to 207 in 2013 is some kind of indication of the competition’s good standing among producers. There are indeed some very good wines absent from the top 10 but by the very nature of such an exercise, this is to be expected – consumers are well advised to look for general trends rather than treating a single rating of an individual wine as absolute. Note, for instance, Boschendal Reserve Collection and Franschhoek Cellar Statue de Femme appear among the winners twice in three years…

    Albrecht Gantz | 27 September 2013

    Must have been exhausting tasting 207 Sauvignon Blanc wines! On one day? And getting to this list tasting blind..

    Glad about Cape Point! I was looking for some of my other favourites (I expected) Ataraxia and Mulderbosch – but heard Ataraxia did not submit (?) – same for Mulderbosch and other possible top20’s/top10’s perhaps? Overall, are you happy with the response from all the SA Sauvignon Blanc producers?

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