First an acknowledgement, I didn’t ‘discover’ this wine all by myself, rather I saw it over on wineanorak.com where Jamie Goode briefly recommended it. What drew it to my attention was not Jamie’s (very brief) review and tasting note, but rather who made it. That man is Duncan Savage, and he is winemaker at Cape Point Vineyards who make what I think is South Africa’s and quite possibly the New World’s best expression of Sauvignon Blanc and and a brilliant Sauvignon / Semillon blend. (yes that’s right – I just said a Sauv Sem could be brilliant – the Sauv is too – even more suprising!) And let’s face it, they probably deserve a break – you have to be brave to plant further south on a tip jutting out to sea than anyone else – they are the most South Westerly vineyards on the African continent, and as such feel the full force of winds like the Cape Doctor. There really isn’t a lot but ocean between them and Antarctica.
Now these wines are not for you if the Cloudy Bay pungent, herbaceous style is what you’re after – but for anyone else they are a real joy. The estate’s wines are pure, focussed,textural with amazing length and concentration. But they don’t come cheap.
Stonehaven Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa
With a ‘Western Cape’ region of origin (which essentially means it’s from any of the main wineland regions.) you would be forgiven for thinking that this is just going to be another Sauvignon, and to some extent you’re right, but Duncan has put a healthy chunk of his own grapes into the blend and then mixed in some other fruit sourced elsewhere.
On the nose there’s citrus and papaya, quince and greengage. The palate is fresh and lively, good acidity but balanced with ripe focussed fruit full of grapefruit with touches of passion fruit and pawpaw. The length and concentration are surprising in a wine this cheap. Yes that’s right – I said cheap. £5.99 this cost me (on offer) in Coop – sadly not in my local coop or I might get more – this one was in Somerset. Proper white wine, at a silly price – go buy some!