First Sighting Wines are made in Elim at Strandveld Vineyards, deep down in the South almost on the southernmost point of the African Continent. These most southerly vines grow in scraggy soil, the wind blows and in the past years the worst drought in living memory has affected the Cape. However, winter rain fall down there was acceptable, though it was storms which caused damage to young shoots and meant the loss of half the crop. Hail storms in November caused further damage. The resultant crop was a tonnage of 3.5 per hectare, well below the normal crop removed. So, while the crop was down, the grapes were full of flavour and the juice concentrated.
The grapes for the First Sighting Sauvignon Blanc 2018 were hand harvested off vines aged 14 to 16 years and delivered to the Strandveld Cellar, the furthest south of any cellar in South Africa. Wine was made, by Winemaker Conrad Vlok and his team, using modern winemaking techniques with cool fermentation using yeast strains sympathetic to Sauvignon Blanc and lying on its lees for six months to build mouthfeel and mid palate breadth. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped green bottle, under screw cap. The label is elegant and descriptive. In the glass, the gem bright wine is a pale gold with lime green flashed. The aromas are those of tropical fruit and bright citrus. The palate has a herbaceousness which I find in many fine Sauvignon Blancs and is beguiling. Mildly yet pleasantly medicinal presence of buchu and round river stones, which as children we loved rolling around in our mouths. The full flavoured feeling starts from entry and continues through mid-palate and into the long and generously waning aftertaste.
This is a sparky wine to drink on its own, as a mid-morning refresher, sundowner or as an aperitif before a meal. It likes summery food, crisp Cos Lettuce Salads Caesar style. Dianne Bibby’s Honey and Soy Glazed Salmon with Cucumber Spaghetti Salad & Poppy Seed Dressing, is a perfect partner to the First Sighting Sauvignon Blanc 2018. Click here for her recipe.
Read more about First Sighting Wines – CLICK HERE