Tasting the Olifants River Sauvignon Blancs 2012 straight after the Young Wine Show had given them a go, we were blown away. One three heart, one two heart and three hearts out of ten wines tasted. To taste what we’re talking about, try the Sir Lambert 2012. Monika Greef, the west coast wine route Miss who becomes a Mrs next weekend, was “so happy” as the same wines failed to skitter at the Young Wine Show. Could it be that Charles Hopkins,Erika Obermeyer and the other judges are on an asparagus trip? We’ll have to wait for the results to see. Here is Anibal tasting blind in Vredendal this morning. Wish more wine guides tasted this way!
That observation off my chest, I too fell for the vegetable that makes your wee smell funny, exactly one week ago when we tasted Durbanville, blind. But could we please have equal time for the west coast delicate, floral bouquets with a mix of tropical and gooseberries on the palate?
My roquefort salad last night at Paiters Grill above Capitec Bank in downtown Vredendal mixed black olives with tinned pineapple and pepadews and was brilliantly complemented by the Sir Lambert 2011 for R95 which echoes the flavours. The salad comes in two sizes, small (R50) and large (R60) which is family friendly. The schnitzel special offers two small for R100 or two large for R120 which, with a polystyrene doggy bag, provides tomorrow’s lunch. Probably one third the price of a Cape Town equivalent.
Just to correct a few factual errors, as is my wont.
Charles Hopkins was not on the Young Wine Show Sauvignon Blanc panel this year.
The results of this year’s Young Wine Show will only be announced on the 16th of August, so Monika would not know whether or not “… the same wines failed to skitter at the Young Wine Show”. Having chatted to her this morning, she confirmed that she was referring to competitions of previous years. To speculate as to the outcome of this year’s competition, and the stylistic nature of the winners that have not even been announced, does sound to me like a case of putting the cart before the horses.
A bit of lovely synchronicity at play in that Thys Louw, the winemaker of Sir Lambert Sauvignon Blanc 2012, was the chairperson of the Sauvignon Blanc panel for the Young Wine Show this year. Surely Thys wouldn’t be biased against a style of wine that he makes himself?
Thanks, however, for being so positive about Sauvignon Blanc wines coming from the Olifants River. Last year the Lutzville Cool Climate 2010 Sauvignon Blanc landed a spot in the FNB Top 10 Sauvignon Blanc Competition – a fantastic achievement, and definitely an indication that the Olifants River is another one of South Africa’s top quality Sauvignon Blanc producing regions.
(in my personal capacity)
As I said in the post “we’ll have to wait for the results to see.”
We totally loved the west coast wines with five wines rated ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ blind : a wooded chenin for R55, a sauvignon blanc for R65, a cabernet sauvignon for R75 and two shirazes for R70 and R71.
Still have to try the 2012 but the Sir Lambert 2011 was truly excellent… funny enough I last had it with a dish containing fresh pineapple and it was exquisite!!
Young Wine Show results have been released, and of the four gold medals awarded for Sauvignon Blanc this year (out of 140 wines entered) two of them came from the Olifants River, being Sir Lambert and Namaqua. The class winner was Merwida (Rawsonville) with KWV also garnering a gold medal.
So, well done with spotting the quality of the Sauvignon Blanc wines coming from the Olifants River, but maybe you owe the Young Wine Show judges an apology for insinuating that they “… are on an asparagus trip” and therefore unable to give wines from the Olifants River a fair shake?
An aside. The twenty finalists for the FNB Top 10 Sauvignon Blanc Competition will be announced later today, and will also show the variety that our producers have to offer – whether it be Agulhas, Breedekloof, Cederberg, Darling, Durbanville, Elgin, Stellenbosch or even as far afield as Langeberg-Garcia.
I stick to my guns that South African Sauvignon Blanc is world-class, and unique in the diversity of flavours and styles available, whether it be herbaceous, floral, tropical, blackcurrant, citrus, flinty or mineral to name just a few of the multitude aromas to be found.
(in my private capacity)