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"This is classic Cape Sauvignon Blanc with a concentrated nose of intense white pears, gooseberries, and candied lemons. It is medium-bodied, exceptionally pure and precise, and has mouth-watering grapefruit, gooseberry, and lime flavors. The crisp, lively finish makes you want to go back for another sip....and another." - Schneider's of Capitol Hill
Producer: Fat Barrel
Sale Price: $11.99
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most well known, popular, and distinctive varieties. Its base in the Old World is still strong, producing the famous wines of Sancerre and Pouilly Fume in the Loire Valley as well as much of southwest France, including Bordeaux where it is thought to have originated as a result of a spontaneous field crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon. Within the appellations of Graves and Entre-Deux-Mers, it makes fine dry whites, blended with Semillon, Muscadelle and Ugni Blanc. However its importance is not to be overlooked in neighboring Sauternes helping form some of the world's most sought after dessert wines.
On the other side of the world New Zealand's association with the grape has become so strong the two are almost synonymous. On the whole they tend to be bolder with more pungent exotic aromas that their European counterparts. It is also cultivated to a large extent in South Africa, Chile, Australia, and California. Initially coined and marketed by Robert Mondavi as Fume Blanc, the Californian versions were aged in a little oak in order to tame the grassy quality, although now Fume Blancs may refer to unoaked Sauvignon too.
Common tasting notes include, grass, gooseberries, lemon, and grapefruit from cooler regions. Riper, sweeter fruit notes such as melons, figs and pears are found in warmer climate renditions. Careful oak ageing can develop more weight and complexity, sometimes displaying tropical mandarin and stone fruit.
Country: South Africa
After much political turmoil South Africa is experiencing a rejuvenation in the wine business, returning to producing some of the world's finest wines including the once heralded dessert wines of Constantia. With most of the coastal region's vineyards lying within 30 miles of the sea the vines benefit from a Mediterranean climate but which is tempered by the cool Benguela current from the Atlantic Ocean. Chenin Blanc, or Steen (its local name), is still the country’s most popular grape and although planting have declined considerably over the last couple of decades it still constitutes 18% of the country’s vines. International varieties such Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc have trembled over the same period and now represent 12% and 10% of all vines respectively. Pinotage, the Cape's own crossing of Cinsault and Pinot Noir, saw a huge rise in popularity during the 1990s and has now reached a steady 6%. Shiraz on the other hand has been the most recent grape to take root, nearly doubling between 2000 and 2007. South Africa's style has often been referred to as combining the restrained subtly of the Old World with the accessible fruit driven styles of the New. Choice however can be somewhat limited with only a mere 1 in 25 bottles exported reaching the US, due to the UK, Europe's thirst.
Region: Coastal Region
The Coastal Region is the most important wine-producing region of South Africa. A Mediterranean climate helps to ripen the grapes during the day whereas the cold nights ensure that the flavor profiles and the acidity of the wines are maintained. A plethora of grape varieties thrive in the Coastal Region's terroir, with all the major popular grape varieties making quality wines. Chenin Blanc (locally known as Steen) and Pinotage perform exceptionally well.
White wine is a wine whose color can be pale-yellow, yellow-green, and yellow-gold colored. The wine is produced from a variety of grape varieties. The flavor and color comes from the juice of the grape and sometimes the skin of the grape as well. Interestingly, not all white wine comes from white grapes. Some select red grapes are used as in Champagne.