Being one of the cooler wine wards in the winelands, Durbanville offers much to the winemaker. Founding Winemaker of Durbanville Hills, Martin Moore and his White Winemaker, Kobus Gerber have proved themselves over the years as makers of fine Sauvignon Blanc, under several of the Winery’s labels. The Durbanville Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2018 is no exception.
News from the cellar is ‘The grapes were sourced from seven of the nine Durbanville Hills member farms where three farms have high altitude vineyards growing on the south eastern slopes of the Hooge Bergs Valley. Cooled by mists and the southeaster, the lower than average temperatures make for slow ripening and intense flavour retention. Some grapes from low-lying, south- western facing vineyards on Maastricht, Bloemendal, Klein Roosboom and Oatlands were used to enhance the full-bodied character. The winter preceding the 2017 vintage was cold and wet followed by moderate and dry weather in November, December and January. The crucial flavour-producing ripening period for Sauvignon blanc grapes in February was much cooler than normal, resulting in high levels of crisp grassy and peppery flavours and the healthy grapes to ripened later than normal. The Sauvignon blanc varietal character of the grapes, especially from the higher slopes, was very strong producing wine with an abundance of tropical fruit characteristics. Some warmer spells ensured fuller blending components with lower acidity to produce a most enjoyable wine about the harvest: The grapes were hand-picked from the second week in February up to the second week in March at between 20.5° and 24.5° Balling.
In the cellar : Crushing and juice handling, varying from immediate draining to an average of four hours skin contact, was conducted under dry ice (CO2) to preserve the typical delicate flavours that are fragile during these first stages of the winemaking process. Cold fermentation at 13° C to 15° C, followed by extended contact with the lees for almost two weeks, contributes to the full mouth-feel of the wine. The wines from the different vineyards were vinified separately according to the specific nature of the grapes and blended shortly before bottling.’
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed under screw cap. The label is the classic Durbanville Hills Lozenge shape. In the glass, the wine is a pale straw, gem bright with flashes of lime green. The aromas are of grapefruit, granadilla and desiccated pineapple. The palate is medium bodied, generous in the middle, packed with fruit of the citrus persuasion and a lovely refreshing and slowly waning aftertaste.
Nothing better than a tranche of butter lemon and parsley fried hake served with a tangy Sauce Tartare. Good with salads and a platter of more gentle cheeses. It is perfect as a pre-lunch wine with Roberta Muir’s Pissaladière, an over the border French Pizza. Click here for her recipe.
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