Waterkloof releases new Sauvignon Blanc threesome
Waterkloof Estate, known for its classic European style wines that match the beauty of the location as well as the architectural magnificence of this ‘cellar in the sky’ in the Helderberg, has released its 2010 Sauvignon blanc vintages encompassing three tiers, each expressing a defining sense of origin.
The latest Sauvignon blanc trio comprises the flagship Waterkloof Sauvignon Blanc 2010 made in an elegantly restrained, edgy style with a strong mineral character; the more expressive Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc 2010, and the fleshier Peacock Ridge 2010, plump with concentrated fruit.
Coined by winemaker Werner Engelbrecht as his ‘amphitheatre of Sauvignon blanc’, Waterkloof’s location on the slopes of the Scapenberg outside Somerset West is heavily influenced by cool sea breezes and ideal soil conditions which allow for slow and longer ripening periods, ideally suited to Waterkloof’s signature varietal.
The farm stretches up to 300 metres above sea level and descends to a mere four kilometres from the coastline. This varying altitude differentiates the site-specific vineyard blocks from one another, thus each of the Sauvignon blanc wines is defined in part by the unique circumstances of soil, altitude and particular micro-climate of each individual vineyard.
Furthermore the close proximity to the ocean creates cooler pockets in the vineyards that ensure slower and longer ripening periods, lending a high natural acidity and remarkable concentrated flavours in the grapes.
“After a cool growing season, the 2010 vintage was one of the most challenging in years. Strong winds of up to 120 km/h coupled with rain storms had a devastating effect on the size of the yield, with only the finest grapes surviving Mother Nature’s force. Fortunately cool weather prevailed late into summer which was beneficial to the quality and varietal character of our Sauvignon blanc,” shares Werner, a traditionalist by heart and craftsman of the fine range of wines produced at the Waterkloof cellar.
At Waterkloof there is minimal interference, not just in the estate’s bio-dynamic farmed vineyards which are grown largely organically without conventional pesticides and fertilisers, but also in the expertly designed cellar where naturally present wild yeast fermentation has carte blanche. Werner also relies on whole bunch pressing to extract the best juices in the gentlest way.
Waterkloof Sauvignon Blanc 2010
The limited release Waterkloof Sauvignon Blanc 2010 which epitomises the estate’s goal in classical refinement, tasting unashamedly European in its lack of showiness, stems from select, high-altitude vineyard blocks on the windswept crest of the Schapenberg.
There the blustering South Easter and North Wester ensure that just a very small crop of only the finest grapes are produced for this flagship with flavours intensified to a flinty, mineral character.
Slow, natural fermentation in old oak adds complexity, texture and weight to the palate with fennel, citrus and fynbos flavours complementing a fine, mineral core.
Recommended retail price: R155 per bottle
Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Born from similar, higher elevation vineyards on the south-west facing, low yielding slopes of the Schapenberg, Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc 2010 retains the steely elegance of the Waterkloof range but is more expressive in style.
Flavours of lime and dill dominate on the nose while the weight and concentration on the mid-palate is balanced by a tight, mineral finish.
Recommended retail price: R90 per bottle
Peacock Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2010
The Peacock Ridge Sauvignon Blanc is mainly produced from the lower, more protected slopes on the estate, home to a muster of wild peacock, and is rounder in character with greater generosity and more forward in style.
The 2010 vintage, which spent eight months on the lees before bottling, is a crisp, elegant wine with a fleshier taste appeal and great length. Citrus and fennel notes complement the rich, complex palate with a lively acidity adding freshness and focus. Owing to the cool growing conditions the wine has a steely, mineral appeal.
Recommended retail price: R70 per bottle