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Helderberg Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa
    13% ABV
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    13% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The very expressive nose bursts with flavors of cut grass, gooseberries, figs, lime and capsicum. A rich palate exudes layers of pure fruit which combine to produce a remarkable intensity of flavors held together by an incredible mineral backbone resulting in a great structure and a wine that will develop incredibly well over the next two years. This wine is perfectly balanced with seamless natural acidity, purity of ripe fruit and harmonious lingering finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Helderberg

    Helderberg

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    Helderberg, South Africa

    The Helderberg – named for its beauty, and meaning Clear or Bright Mountain – rises majestically above the sweeping False Bay. Around this mountain, farmers have planted vines for centuries, discovering that its soils and proximity to the ocean are ideal for the cultivation of premium grapes. In 1906, the Helderberg Winery was established and in that year harvested the first grapes in their new winery on the slopes of the Helderberg. Over the following decades, the winery grew in stature, based on its pedigree of consistently producing excellent red wines, with notably superb Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery was instrumental in establishing the area’s reputation and high regard, and today the Helderberg is widely acknowledged as South Africa’s home of fine red wines. Purchased by Boekenhoutskloof Winery, Marc Kent has said, “We believe it has nice synergy with our business in Franschhoek and our investment in the Swartland, and we’re excited to be relaunching the brand.”

    South Africa

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    With an important wine renaissance is in full swing, impressive red and white bargains abound in South Africa. The country has a particularly long and rich history with winemaking, especially considering its status as part of the “New World.” In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century.

    Today, however, South Africa is increasingly responsible for high-demand, high-quality wines—a blessing to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot. But the Benguela Current from Antarctica provides brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening of grapes. Similarly, cooler, high-elevation vineyard sites throughout South Africa offer similar, favorable growing conditions.

    South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for red-fruit-driven, spicy, earthy reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following close behind.

    Sauvignon Blanc

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    A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. However, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and here is most important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand, California, Australia and parts of northeastern Italy. Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon blanc.

    In the Glass

    From its homeland In Bordeaux, winemakers prefer to blend it with Sémillon to produce a softer, richer style. In the Loire Valley, it expresses citrus, flint and smoky flavors, especially from in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. Marlborough, New Zealand often produces a pungent and racy version, often reminiscent of cut grass, gooseberry and grapefruit. California produces fruity and rich oak-aged versions as well as snappy and fresh, Sauvignon blancs, which never see any oak.

    Perfect Pairings

    The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor lends it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood and mild Asian cuisine. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like artichokes or asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.

    Sommelier Secret

    Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.

    CAR31736_2013 Item# 134066