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Home Winners > Winners 2018 > NEW WORLD: Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa

Winner Details

 NEW WORLD: Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa

2018 Gold 3        Silver 3                Bronze 2             Commended 7
2017 Gold 1        Silver 3                Bronze 4             Commended 8

Last year was the first time that we had sufficient South African medals to justify giving the country its own pages in the Sommelier Wine Awards, so we were intrigued to see how it would do this time. Would it build on 2017 and strengthen its performance with the grape, or subside back into the Rest of the New World section from which it came?

Fortunately, it was the former. This was a pretty strong performance from the Cape’s winemakers, particularly given that it’s not a variety that they’re especially known for.

The pricing of the Golds was perhaps a smidgeon higher than we’d have expected, but the tasters generally liked the in-between-New-Zealand-and-the-Loire style and could see how it might be more food-friendly than your typical Marlborough version, too.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘South African Sauvignon sits well if you’re beginning to get fed up with the pungency of New Zealand.’ Angela Reddin, team leader

‘Reasonable quality across the board. There’s some nice diversity here.’ Hamish Anderson, Tate Catering

‘It’s known more for Chenin Blanc. I found the Sauvignons quite flat, I prefer them a bit more structured.’ Elisa Soggia, Kai Mayfair

‘Stylistically, it’s a good alternative to New Zealand, which can be quite overpowering. These were more settled – food-driven Sauvignon Blanc.’ Andrea Briccarello, team leader

‘These were a bit more dialled-down than I expected, no “cat pissing on a nettle” characteristics. Fruity rather than mineral.’ Nigel Lister, team leader

Award winners

Found 21 wines

New World: Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa

Silverado, Miller Ranch, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Napa Valley, California, USA

Gold medal winner

A Gold-worthy Californian Sauvignon Blanc with ‘some pretty florals on the nose, with lime flower and lemongrass flavours, and plenty of depth in the mouth’, described impressed team leader Angela Reddin, while Three Chimneys Restaurant’s Petri Pentikainen thought it showed ‘elegance, with a creamy texture and a long finish’. ‘Citrus and stone fruit on the nose, and a very well-concentrated palate’ made this ‘a good match for grilled salmon’, according to The Don’s Carlos Ferreira.

£18.65 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Kleine Zalze, Family Reserve, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Western Cape, South Africa

Gold medal winner

‘Green apple and fresh-cut grass in a light and refreshing style with notes of lemon and lime peel’ were, for Elisa Soggia of Kai Mayfair, the hallmarks of this Gold winner, while Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson found it had an ‘intriguing, smoky, steely nose’, then a ‘tight, zesty and textured palate that’s lively with a bit of grip and spice, citrus and flint complexity, and really long on the finish, too’.

£15.69 Hatch Mansfield

Cederberg, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Cederberg, South Africa

Gold medal winner

Team leader Angela Reddin spoke highly of this deserving Gold medallist’s ‘lime aromas with sherbet characters, and nice spritz in the mouth, with concentrated flavours and a mineral thread’ and thought it was ‘a very long, good wine’. For Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson it had a ‘lovely, lively nose of grass, smoke, citrus and delicious, cool fresh fruit’, and he thought it was ‘bright, but with a lovely texture that will lend itself to food’.

£10.65 Bancroft Wines

Cederberg, Ghost Corner, Wild Ferment, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Cederberg, South Africa

Gold medal winner

Amid some generous praise, this Gold winner stood out for team leader Nigel Lister for its ‘floral, elegant nose and notes of white peach and orchard fruits on the palate’, finding it ‘crisp and elegant in style with a rich seam of fruit and a long finish’, while team leader Andrea Briccarello singled it out for its ‘ripe and creamy notes, good acidity and lots of lime and grapefruit flavours’.

£14.65 Bancroft Wines

Raisin Social, Stonebuck, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Western Cape, South Africa

Silver medal winner

‘Great perfume, lavender nose and a clean pear taste with great balance, vey lively,’ said an approving Michael Moore of The London Cookhouse, with Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson finding it ‘ripe with some nice tropical guava notes, a rich palate balanced by savoury complexity’. ‘Good value in a pub environment,’ added team leader Angela Reddin.

£5.30 Majestic Commercial

D'Aria, The Songbird, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Durbanville, South Africa

Silver medal winner

Elisa Soggia of Kai Mayfair liked its ‘herbaceous, grassy, lemongrass aromas with a hint of green cabbage, light body with good acidity, stone fruit and apple’, while Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson found its ‘very opulent, explosive nose more Marlborough than South Africa, though its palate is great: savoury, textural and complex with peach and citrus fruit, great length’.

£12.80 Eurowines

Stellenrust, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Silver medal winner

Typically ‘clean, crisp with fresh-cut grass notes on the nose’, said team leader Andrea Briccarello, also picking up ‘quite intense tropical notes on nose and palate, and it’s great value’. Portland Restaurant’s Carolina Seibel added: ‘Slightly shy, but nice lime character and delicate floral notes with some elegance.’

£8.14 Bibendum

Norton, Finca Perdriel, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club enjoyed this Suvignon’s ‘fresh, lemongrass and gooseberry aromas’, and thought it had ‘lemon citrus notes with fresh florals on the palate, which is crisp and clean’, while Davide Dall’Amico of Royal Automobile Club highlighted ‘tropical fruit, guava and passion fruit, some grassiness and garden pea notes with a touch of mineral and decent finish’.

£10.01 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Some Young Punks, Quickie!, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Rich, ripe but restrained fruit, though it’s pithy and herby with citrus and fennel,’ began team leader Simon Woods, concluding that it ‘creeps up on you’, while Royal Automobile Club’s Davide Dall’Amico was intrigued by the nose and found it ‘very dry on the palate, with underripe stone fruit and pear drop fruit and subtle notes of menthol’.

£12.02 Bibendum

Kleine Zalze, Cellar Selection, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Western Cape, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

‘A balanced, perky and layered wine,’ began Portland Restaurant’s Carolina Seibel, noting ‘grassy, asparagus, slightly reductive aromas, but with a good passion fruit core’. ‘Some ripe notes of guava on the palate, showing good length,’ added team leader Andrea Briccarello.

£6.94 Hatch Mansfield

Spier, Creative Block 2 2017, Coastal Region, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

‘Spicy, floral and nettle aromas accompanied by some earthy tones,’ said team leader Nigel Lister, ‘but on the palate there is gentle fruit, asparagus hints and a nice prickle of acidity’. ‘Flinty, mineral, salty with lots of ripe mango, very crisp and dry,’ added team leader Andrea Briccarello.

£8.70 Bibendum , Walker & Wodehouse Wines

Aires Andinos, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

‘Floral, citrus aromas with clean notes of Cox apples and gentle white peppery notes, said Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club, with team leader Simon Woods finding it ‘taut and pithy, grassy with a slightly boiled-sweet note, but fresh and breezy with citrus and herb style’.

£5.83 Majestic Commercial

Zonte's Footstep, Excalibur, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Murdoch Hill, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£11.95 Eurowines

Swartland Winery, Founders, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Swartland, South Africa

Commended medal winner

Highlands Road, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Elgin, South Africa

Commended medal winner

Journey's End, The Weather Station, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£10.46 Bibendum

Nitida, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Durbanville, South Africa

Commended medal winner

Shannon, Sanctuary Peak, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Elgin , South Africa

Commended medal winner

£9.43 Matthew Clark

Distell, Nederburg, The Young Airhawk, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Western Cape, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£11.89 Distell Europe

Thelema, Sutherland, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Western Cape, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£8.25 Enotria&Coe

 

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