Aromatic and fruit-driven with crisp, mouthwatering acidity, Sauvignon Blanc is a summer staple and the most-consumed varietal wine in South Africa, with more than 24 million bottles of Sauvignon Blanc enjoyed by the local market annually. In short, it’s not always easy to make a Sauvignon splash, especially among this year’s 169 deserving entries. This is why Spier is particularly thrilled to announce that their Seaward Sauvignon Blanc 2023 has been named as one of this year’s FNB Sauvignon Blanc South African Top 10.
Extensively planted in the Cape from the beginning of the 20th century, Sauvignon Blanc vines were widely uprooted in the 1940s due to poor plant material. Replanting began in the late 1970s, with some of the best Sauvignons now grown in relatively cool climate vineyards to preserve grape acidity. This is certainly the case for Spier’s Seaward Sauvignon Blanc, with vines situated just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean.
“Vineyards closer to the ocean benefit from a more stable maritime climate, encompassing strong winds, cold air, and fog. This ensures grapes ripen slowly over an extended growing season, resulting in top-quality fruit filled with crisp acidity and a refreshing saline finish,” shares Cellar Master Johan Jordaan. Made with handpicked grapes cooled by the Atlantic breeze, the Seaward Sauvignon Blanc is an elegant, bone-dry wine that offers aromatic tropical fruit and a fresh sensation on the palate. Versatile and invigorating, it's a must for a chilled summer day apéritif.
Established in 2007, the annual FNB Sauvignon Blanc SA Top 10 competition seeks to champion the innovation and excellence of the Sauvignon Blanc varietal. This year’s esteemed panel of wine experts, convened by Cape Wine Master Dr Winifred Bowman, noted they were particularly taken with several older vintages submitted. Although general market attitudes might suggest that the vintage of a Sauvignon Blanc signifies its expiry date, the nuanced use of wood demonstrates that the varietal has more complexity and longevity than many realise. Remarkably, fourteen of the top 20 contenders hail from previous vintages, up to and including 2017.
“When it comes to Sauvignon Blanc, you can take it at face value. Do not expect the wine to be a younger version of itself, and instead, appreciate it for what it offers today - which is more than you might first expect!” ends Johan