Sauvignon Blanc is not just a wine to enjoy immediately. The vintage of a Sauvignon Blanc is also not the expiry date. The 20 finalists in the 2023 FNB Sauvignon Blanc SA Top 10 competition held by Sauvignon Blanc South Africa are clear proof of this. No less than fourteen of the top 20 contenders are from previous vintages, up to and including 2017.

Winemakers are increasingly recognising Sauvignon Blanc as a cultivar with gravitas. Subtle use of wood makes the wine more complex and age-worthy, as highlighted by the eight wooded wines in this year’s top 20.

The 20 finalists represent an impressive selection of styles from diverse wine regions, with  many regions producing more than one finalist. A total of 106 producers entered 169 wines for this competition, which, since 2007, has been the only South African competition dedicated exclusively to Sauvignon Blanc. It is presented with the support of FNB, the Top 10 title partner, and platinum partner EVER Solutions.

The top 20 finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Benguela Cove Vinography Sauvignon Blanc 2022
  • Bloemendal Wine Estate Suider Terras 2017
  • De Grendel Koetshuis 2022
  • Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2023
  • Diemersdal The Journal Sauvignon Blanc 2022
  • Flagstone Free Run Sauvignon Blanc 2022
  • Iona Elgin Highlands Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc 2022
  • Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2022
  • Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2023
  • KWV Cathedral Cellar Sauvignon Blanc 2021
  • Le Grand Domaine Our Origin The Pledge Sauvignon Blanc 2022
  • Le Grand Domaine The Pledge 10 Sauvignon Blanc 2019
  • Nitida Sauvignon Blanc 2023
  • Simonsig Sunbird Sauvignon Blanc 2023
  • Spier Seaward Sauvignon Blanc 2023
  • Stark-Condé Round Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2022
  • Steenberg The Black Swan 2022
  • Tokara Reserve Collection Elgin Sauvignon Blanc 2022
  • Zevenwacht Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2023
  • Zorgvliet Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2022

A panel of leading wine experts judged this year’s competition with Cape Wine Master Dr Winifred Bowman as convener. Along with Bowman on the panel were the international wine judge and wine writer Fiona McDonald, Johann Fourie, head winemaker of Benguela Cove, Morgan Steyn, winemaker of De Grendel, Gregory Mutambe, sommelier of Rust en Vrede, as well as two protégés, Mahalia Kotjane, assistant winemaker of Lievland, and Shanice du Preez from De Grendel.

Don’t miss the Top 10 announcement

The Top 10 will be announced on Wednesday 25 October 2023 at the FNB Sauvignon Blanc SA Top 10 award event at Kleine Zalze as well as on the website and on social media. Follow Sauvignon Blanc SA on X @SauvignonSA, on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn as @sauvignonblancsa, and join the conversation with #FNBSauvignonBlancSATop10.

A technical seminar will be held on Wednesday 22 November 2023 at Allée Bleue in Franschhoek. For more information, send an email or call +27(0)82 808 1114.

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Isabeau Botha
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