(2022) From selected cooler sites in the Western Cape, this was delibrately exposed to oxygen at specific times during vinification, which is far from the usual recipe for Sauvignon Blanc. What that has supressed in pungent and fiery aromatics it has gained in a more complex, layered set of aromas with a little breadiness and bruised apple character. In the mouth there is plentiful sweet fruit, very much more orthodox SB in a way, with punchy nectarine ripeness and limey acidity coming together for a ripe but balanced style.
(2022) This is an 'MCC', the designation for South Africa's quality, traditional method sparkling wines. It comes from the fizz-dedicated Graham Beck operation, a blend of mostly Pinot with Chardonnay, where the delicate pink hue comes from short contact of Pinot skins pre-ferment. With 9.8g/l of residual sugar it is certainly not sweet, but it is easy-going and approachable, the red fruits touching pulpy strawberry and raspberry, the mousse not too aggressive and the finish well balance. Better value at £14.99 on a Majestic deal, though there are numerous outher stockists - see the wine-searcher link below. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2022) This South African Cabernet can be had as cheaply as £6 for Tesco Club Card holders, which does qualify it as a 'buy', even though its a wine with no real distinguishing features for me: fairly generic black fruit, made with French oak (though possibly staves rather than barrels?) it is juicy enough, a little bit raw feeling and whilst decent, just doesn't press my buttons. I slightly preferred the Chardonnay in the range at the same price from Tesco.
(2021) About 90% Shiraz with a dash of Malbec, this ruby-crimson wine has loads of smokiness on the nose, charred meat and bonfire ash to the fore. In the mouth a big, sweet and substantial mouthful, loaded with sweet black fruit and creamy in texture, that smokiness and slightly harsh acidity in the finish. I guess there's no denying it is a lot of wine for £6 in Tesco, on promotion November 15th to December 5th 2021.
(2021) In some ways this Sauvignon Blanc blended with a touch of Shiraz to give it its pink colour is more 'Sauvignony' than the straight SB. It certainly has the herbal, grassy and elderflower punch going on, some dry and pithy acidity making it feel a touch drier too. There is a little bit of confectionary sweetness towards the finish, that maybe jars slightly against that acid. £5.75 in Asda until the end of 2021.
(2021) Sauvignon from the Western Cape, immediately suggesting quite ripe tropical fruit, just a hint of herbaceous gooseberry and elderflower. In the mouth this is basically dry, just a little residual sugar to fatten the mid-palate, quite fresh and clean flavours with a hint of something smoky in there, and enough acidity to stop it feeling cloying. This will regularly appear on promotion I'd guess, and is down to just £5.75 in Asda until December 12th 2021.
(2021) Porcupine Ridge is a second label of the excellent Boekenhoutskloof estate, the wines made in big volumes in conjunction with the local cooperative cellar. Note too that there is a straight Sauvignon Blanc in the range on sale in Sainsbury's at less than £7, but untasted by me. This blends some Semillon, though it is the capsicum and gooseberry-touched fruity blast of Sauvignon that comes through most strongly. In the mouth there's a flattering touch of sweetness to offset juicy lime acidity. The fresh flavours across the mid-palate show a bit of fat, lemony character which the Semillon and just a touch of oak influence will be boosting. No aggressive side to this, in an easy-drinking style. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) A big blend led by Syrah along with Grenache, Petit Verdot, Merlot and both Cabernets, this spends 18 months in 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill barrels. Dark crimson in colour, the nose has pepper and spices over firm black fruit, touches of tobacco and black olive too. In the mouth this is both savoury with a touch of grilled bacon fat and boldly fruity with a depth of firm black berries. Good juiciness, the tannins spicy and ripe and the acid adding lovely balance.
(2021) Over 150 grams of residual sugar in this half bottle of sweet wine, composed of 64% Muscat de Frontignan and 36% Chenin Banc affected by Botrytis. Gorgeoud nose, where the barley sugar and leaf tea notes of the Botrytis merge with the floral and leafy green herbs of the Muscat. Unctuous and medium- to full-bodied, that beautiful fruit sweetness moves through nectarine to orange, but at all times the acidity if finely and exqusitely balanced. A lovely wine this. Price for the half bottle.
(2021) Around 85% of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir here comes from vineyards close to False Bay in Stellenbosch, with the remainder from Robertson. This wine saw full malolactic and 12 to 15 months on the lees, and the dosage is 8.4g/l. It immediately his freshness, a dry citrus and Asian pear clarity, subtle biscuity richness too. The palate is zippy and fresh, a raciness to the mousse and acidity, but there is a fruit sweetness on the mid-palate keeping this crowd-pleasing and very easy to drink.