Our Pick of the Best Sauvignon Blancs in South Africa

Tuesday, 5 March, 2019
Country Life
There’s still a bit of summer in the air and there’s nothing quite like a chilled glass of vino to knock back. Our wine writer Greg Landman has found the best Sauvignon Blancs in South Africa to help make your decision a little easier.

Sauvignon Blanc covers about 10% of the vineyard area in South Africa, making it the second most popular white varietal. The words “crisp, dry and refreshing” are usually used to describe the flavours of the grape, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be so dry that it strips the palate off you. Search out the ones that suit your taste and you will find, especially in the scorching summers, that it goes very well with things like fish, chicken, and, of course, sushi – a match made in heaven. I can also recommend a salad with goats’ cheese, with its unique sharp flavour, makes for a delicious pairing

What's there to know about Sauvignon Blanc?

Originating in the Bordeaux area of France, it gets its name from the French words for “wild” and “white” probably because it was indigenous. Today it is grown all over the world with varying degrees of success, some of the best coming from New Zealand, France, Australia and South Africa. The grape needs cool growing conditions and therefore Durbanville, where the breezes of the nearby chilly Atlantic keep things on an even keel. The West Coast, Elgin, parts of Walker Bay, and Stellenbosch are all well placed to produce quality Sauvignon. As you will notice these wines should be drunk young as prolonged cellaring will not help them get better.

But enough of that. Let’s top up our glasses and get into the important stuff.

20 of the best Sauvignon Blancs in South Africa

DMZ Sauvignon Blanc 2017

This is another treasure from the Appelbaum’s eyrie in the sky where master winemaker Carl van der Merwe weaves his magic. Plenty of lees contact gives it richness, while the citrus and granadilla on the nose add gorgeous tang to the well-controlled acids and all that fruit is irresistible. Heavily awarded all over the place, this bottle will make a great addition to a pork roast. 

Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2018

This venerable Durbanville estate offers no fewer than seven different Sauvignons ranging from this superb wine – an intense and complex vintage with some smoky nuances lurking – to the luscious and tangy Noble Late Harvest. Talented young winemaker, Thys Louw, is the sixth generation in his family to make wine here and he has a son waiting to take over the reins.

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