The Berrio Sauvignon Blanc 2009

By , 26 September 2011



Lean, mean, fighting machine.

With judging for the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 competition due to take place this week, I felt compelled to do a bit of benchmarking and hence a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc 2009 from Elim producer The Berrio, this wine having rated 5 Stars in Platter’s 2011.

Still amazingly primary but very much at the greener end of the flavour spectrum. It’s a style I’m partial to but there are some who would argue that the wine lacks detail. The problem with local Sauvignon Blanc is that extra nuance and complexity often comes at the expense of purity and focus.

Too often, the Sauvignon Blanc debate ends up as a stalemate between the proponents of a lean and racy style versus those of a rich and ripe style. Wines which convey a sense of completeness are rare, but it’s precisely such wines  we should seek to reward if the Sauvignon Blanc category is to go to the next level.


3 comment(s)

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  • Smirrie1 May 2012

    This sb deserved its 5 star status by platter. I had this wine saturday with a mezze platter and awesome cheeses from leriba lodge in pretoria.

  • Christian26 September 2011

    I see no reason in theory why a wine from 100% Sauvignon Blanc can’t be considered “complete” but I think it’s difficult in practice under local conditions. Those examples that do attempt to stay true to one particular site tend to end up being idiosyncratic (and therefore more suited to “sighted” rather than “blind” review). As for those examples that rely on winemaker intervention in order to attain greater profundity, it’s a matter of degree: a wine which features 15% Semillon and barrel maturation may technically still qualify as a single-variety Sauvignon Blanc but really it should be judged against other Bordeaux-style whites.

  • Angela Lloyd26 September 2011

    Can a 100% sauvignon be complete or does that require a drop or so of semillon ?

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