Ataraxia Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa
Painstaking fruit selection and skilled winemaking using reductive cellar techniques has resulted in our Sauvignon Blanc seamlessly incorporating the very best that the Old and New World styles have to offer. This wine favors individuality and minerality ahead of pure, pungent fruit, but still shows assertive spice, herbs, lemon zest, gooseberry and grassy aromas. These are effortlessly reflected on the palate and are complemented by a lively acidity which underpins a classy structure and texture, culminating in a wine of great poise, length and charm.
International Wine Cellar - "Pale bright yellow. Very subtle nose combines grapefruit pith, citrus peel, pepper and crushed stone, plus a whiff of tropical fruits. Rich, bright, ripe and deep, with lemon, grapefruit and mineral flavors enlivened by wild herbs and mint. This really coats the mouth without leaving any impression of weight. Finishes suave and long, with terrific grip. Seriously good sauvignon."
Wine Spectator - "This has subtle weight, with lemon verbena, wet straw and chamomile notes offset by lingering gooseberry notes. Nice buried minerality stretches out the finish. Very solid."
Ataraxia was founded in 2004. Husband and wife team, Kevin and Hanli, in partnership with a few friends, purchased 50 hectares of prime vineyard land. The landscape in which Ataraxia is situated, called The Skyfields is unique, lying as it does on the most elevated section of the Hemel-en-Aarde area. Nestled on this commanding rise beneath the soaring BabylonsToren mountain range, our vineyards are planted on some of the most spectacular terroirs South Africa has to offer. It is a place where wines of incredible finesse, balance and depth are crafted, that proudly hold their own in the international arena. View all Ataraxia Wines
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A long history of growing grapes and making wine, but less of a history on exporting it, and even lesser on the quality aspect. At the turn of the century (1900, that is), a surplus of wine in South Africa created a hierarchy of cooperatives, the biggest and best known being KWV. This organization seemed to favor quantity over quality and had most control over wines and vineyards until the late 1980's. Now, with a bit more competition, quality is coming around. Yet, South African wine was not even seen in American wine stores until the mid-1990's – the trade embargo on the country for their racial apartheid laws kept South African wine out of the US. When apartheid fell, so did the embargo, and SA bottles began showing up on US shelves.
White wine has always been the cash crop of South Africa, with much of it distilled to make brandy. More white than red is planted, much of it the Steen variety – known elsewhere in the world as Chenin Blanc. Good producers are making top quality dry wines from this grape. Another grape gaining some raves is Sauvignon Blanc, producing whites that are dry and crisp, yet rounder than many of its Southern Hemisphere counterparts. For reds, the top grapes are Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon (& blends) and Pinotage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends was once the favorite and most-produced, but Shiraz is taking over as wineries crank out high quality wines from the variety. Pinotage, which used to be a grape only your mother could love, has improved dramatically and is often as delicious as it is distinctive. The most popular regions of the country include Stellenbosch and Paarl.
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Notable FactsWhite wine has always been the cash crop of South Africa, with much of it distilled to make brandy. More white than red is planted, the majority of it is Steen – known elsewhere in the world as Chenin Blanc. Good producers are making top quality dry wines from this grape. Another grape the critics rave aboutSauvignon Blanc, producing whites that are dry and crisp, yet rounder than many of its Southern Hemisphere counterparts. For reds, the top grapes are Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon (& blends) and Pinotage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends were once the favorite and most-produced, but Shiraz is taking over as wineries crank out high quality wines from the variety. Pinotage, a man-made crossing between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, has improved dramatically and is often as delicious as it is distinctive. In describing red wines in South Africa, smoky and meaty are two terms that are common. Regionally, the most popular wine-making areas include Stellenbosch and Paarl.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.