2022 Vintage reveals Sauvignon Blanc’s true colours
Various Stellenbosch wineries were amongst the top 10 best Sauvignon Blanc wines in the annual FNB Sauvignon Blanc SA Top 10. Five of the top 10 awards went to Stellenbosch-based wine producers – Klein Zalze, Spier, Tokara, Zorgvliet and Stark-Condé.
South Africa’s top Sauvignon Blancs are about much more than meets the eye. Wine lovers should take a second look and taste of Sauvignon Blanc from older vintages, as well as wooded styles, according to the judging panel of the 2023 FNB Sauvignon Blanc SA Top 10. No less than seven of the winners are from the 2022 vintage, which again confirms the excellent aging potential of South African Sauvignon Blanc.
Sauvignon Blanc SA announced the winners on Wednesday 25 October at Kleine Zalze in Stellenbosch, with Wolfgang Riebe as magical master of ceremonies. Guests were challenged to solve a Sixth Sense of Sauvignon Blanc Mystery in the Winelands, to figure out the winning wines from 20 finalists by tasting, feeling, listening, smelling, and observing – from seashells and soil to ballet and a box of matches!
This year’s Top 10 (in alphabetical order) are:
De Grendel Koetshuis 2022 (wooded)
Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2023 (unwooded)
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2022 (wooded)
Le Grand Domaine Our Origin The Pledge Sauvignon Blanc 2022 (unwooded)
Nitida Sauvignon Blanc 2023 (unwooded)
Spier Seaward Sauvignon Blanc 2023 (unwooded)
Stark-Condé Round Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2022 (wooded)
Steenberg The Black Swan 2022 (unwooded)
Tokara Reserve Collection Elgin Sauvignon Blanc 2022 (wooded)
Zorgvliet Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2022 (unwooded)
This year’s judging panel was convened by Cape Wine Master Dr Winifred Bowman and included the international wine judge and wine writer Fiona McDonald, Johann Fourie, head winemaker of Benguela Cove, Morgan Steyn, winemaker of De Grendel, Gregory Mutambe, sommelier of Rust en Vrede, as well as two protégés, Mahalia Kotjane, assistant winemaker of Lievland, and Shanice du Preez from De Grendel.
“This year’s Top 10 is versatile in style and origin,” says RJ Botha, Chairman of Sauvignon Blanc SA. “Four of the top ten winners are wooded, making this a style to look out for, with a good understanding of oak that gives these wines complexity and depth. The 2022 vintage has developed well over the past year, in line with our panel’s recommendation last year to age those a little longer. Out of the 169 wines entered by 106 producers, South African Sauvignon competes comfortably on the world stage,” says Botha.
Stephan Claassen, Provincial Head FNB of Business in the Western and Eastern Cape, congratulated the Sauvignon Blanc SA Top 10 winners and acknowledged the importance of the agriculture sector as a pillar of stability and growth, even during times of uncertainty, with the wine industry being no exception. “Although the aim is to select the Top 10, we recognise and celebrate all the finalists for their part in the ongoing establishment of the wine industry in South Africa,” Claassen says.
Taste, buy and learn more about the Top 10
A Top 10 booklet with tasting notes is free to download at https://tinyurl.com/43k8jp9x
A technical seminar will be held on Wednesday 22 November 2023 at Allée Bleue in Franschhoek.
For more information, visit https://sauvignonblanc.com/ or call +27(0)82 808 1114.