The Young Airhawk, Sauvignon Blanc, Nederburg, Paarl, South Africa, 2012, 14% abv, C$28.00

This wine is grown and produced in Paarl which is part of the Coastal Region, an important wine district located in South Africa.

Located inland from the coastal region of Stellenbosch and the Pacific Ocean, Paarl is the warm home of the KWV (Kooperatieve Wijnbouwers Vereniging van Suid Afrika), the now public company that has shaped and controlled the South African wine industry since its inception in 1918 over the course of two World Wars, the Depression and Apartheid.

With Stellenbosch on its west, it’s bordered by Tulbagh to the north and Franschhoek (or ‘French Corner’ because it was settled by Huguenots) to the east.  It’s less maritime influenced than Stellenbosch with soils ranging from sand to decomposed granite. The cooling influence of the Benguela ocean current cools temperatures inland and makes it possible to grow grapes suitable for crisp and light white wines.

Sauvignon Blanc makes up only 15% of the white cultivars grown in South Africa (the local term used for varieties) compared to 20% for Chenin Blanc (or Steen).  The other white cultivars grown include Colombard, Cape Riesling, Sémillon , Riesling, Gewürztraminer and most of the Muscats.

Sauvignon Blanc styles range from light, crisp and herbaceous through to barrel aged styles with fuller body and nutty, vegetal flavours.  This particular wine is one of the latter examples – clear and bright, it’s pale lemon-green with legs.

The nose is clean and youthful with medium plus intensity and aromas of wood, toast, lemon citrus, light green apple and minerality.

The palate is dry with medium plus acidity and medium body, medium plus alcohol and medium plus intensity with flavours of yellow grapefruit, lemon zest, almond and nut, wood and more toast and very light leaf.  The finish is medium plus.

This wine is WSET Very Good; it has strong acidity that is balanced by the concentrated fruit, some solid complexity, good structure and an average finish.  The wood is slightly strong, but it is the backbone of this style.  Drink now or may be held for up to 5 years.


About winellama

I love wine...and finally decided to do something about it.
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