Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most widely planted wine grapes in the world and because of this it has a wide range of styles and flavours.
It is unclear exactly when Sauvignon was introduced to the Cape, but it was certainly planted at Groot Constantia in the late 1880 and reportedly performed well there. The first varietal Sauvignon on the market was that of Verdun (now Asara) in Stellenbosch in 1977, with Backsberg and De Wetshof joining in 1980. The oldest existing Sauvignon vineyards can be found at Spice Route’s Klein Amoskuil in the Swartland, planted in 1965. The second oldest existing Sauvignon Blanc vineyards are at Bloemendal in Durbanville, planted in the early 1970s.
Sauvignon Blanc Synonyms
Fumé Blanc (USA)
Suggested Serving Temperatures
Unoaked 8 ºC (46 ºF)
Oaked 11 ºC (52 ºF)
Most Sauvignons are either made in a fresh, fruity style for early drinking, or are able to age for a few years. There are a few wooded varietal wines, but blends with Sémillon, either variety representing the major partner, are increasing, particularly in cooler, coastal areas. Botrytis-infected Sauvignon is also used for Noble Late Harvest wines.
In your glass of South African Sauvignon Blanc you will be able to identify one of the following styles:
TROPICAL AND YELLOW FRUIT
Lush, tropical flavours and aromas of papaya, guava, banana and pineapple coupled with stonefruit (apricot, peach, nectarine), and some citrus elements. Also some floral notes (orange blossom and geranium). Mostly associated with warmer climate areas with relatively high levels of diurnal temperature fluctuation.
FLINTY AND MINERAL
SPICY AND HERBACEOUS
Racy flavours and aromas such as capsicum, paprika, fresh and canned asparagus, tinned peas, grass, nettles, English gooseberry, grass, tomato vine, celery and herbs. Mostly found in cooler-climate areas with onshore breezes cooling the vineyards, or high-lying vineyards protected from extreme heat.