Donovan Ackermann Wild Ferment Blanc Fumé 2015

By , 11 May 2016



Donovan Ackermann Wild Ferment Blanc Fumé 2015


What to make of wooded Sauvignon Blanc? By virtue of its time in oak, it typically doesn’t have quite the same purity and freshness of unwooded Sauvignon Blanc nor does it have the extra complexity of a Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend.

Done well, however, it does gain extra dimension compared to unwooded Sauvignon and in the case of the 2015 from Donovan Ackermann, assistant winemaker at Strandveld in Elim, also benefits from not being inoculated with a commercial yeast.

The wine is a somewhat idiosyncratic but nevertheless intriguing proposition. On the nose, green and yellow apple, some sea spray and white pepper. The palate, meanwhile, is rich and full, tangy acidity lending balance, the finish particularly savoury. Price: R145 a bottle.

#WinemagRating: 90/100.

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3 comment(s)

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    Erik H. Berger | 1 March 2020

    I agree with Tim James on the complexity of straight SB. Personally I am a big fan of oaked Sauvignon Blancs from South Africa – like those from Fryers Cove, The Giant Periwinkle or Black Oystercatcher – the Loire, Bordeaux or NZ like Cloudy Bays Te Koko. However I had the pleasure of drinking the wine back in September 2016 at Strandveld and this weekend I enjoyed the bottle I brought home with me. While back then I liked the typical Elim Sauvignon Blanc aromas of gooseberry, green pepper, flintyness, the acidity and the oak influence, this weekend the wine has even improved and is more balanced. The nose and flavour is still very much Elim with nicely added touch of oak. As I kept half a bottle open from Saturday to Sunday and it was still fantastic, I would say the wine will keep for a couple of years more. Unfortunately this was my last bottle.

    Pierre Rabie | 11 May 2016

    Fantastic wine from Donovan. I had the privilege of enjoying it more than once. Such a pleasure to enjoy a wooded Sauvignon at various stages of its lifetime.

    Tim James | 11 May 2016

    I don’t think that straight sauvignons – including oaked ones like Reyneke Reserve, for example – are doomed to less complexity than those blended with semillon. The 17-year old Vergelegen tasted at Michael Fridjhon’s old wine tasting before the Trophy Wine Show this year is another compelling argument. Internationally, so would be many examples from the Loire, or Ch Margaux’s Pavillon Blanc. Conversely, adding semillon is no guarantee of “extra complexity”.

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