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Iona Sauvignon Blanc 2005

Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa
    0% ABV
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    Winemaker Notes

    Freshly chopped pear, black currant, nettles and wet stones introduce this pure and precise wine. A superb example of a cool climate Sauvignon Blanc.

    It is particularly good with fresh fish, sushi, shellfish with lemon butter and garlic sauces, fresh oysters and asparagus, artichokes, salads and risotto.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Iona
    Iona, South Africa
    2005 Sauvignon Blanc
    In 1997 Andrew Gunn, an engineer by training, bought land in the Kogelberg overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Elgin, South Africa. After purchasing the farm, Gunn began examining the climate’s history and determined that the conditions on the 420m high mountain plateau were similar to those in the famed Bordeaux region.

    Named after a Scottish island, Iona’s altitude and cool summer winds blowing off the Atlantic Ocean contribute to a unique environment and ensure that the wine’s sugar, pH, acid and flavor compounds are in perfect balance. Iona is located on one of the coolest climate sites in South Africa and they harvest up to 4 weeks later than other regions in South Africa.

    The first vines were planted in 1998, and the wines have quickly established a cult following for their Sauvignon Blanc. Niels Verburg, the winemaker, enjoys elegant wines that truly reflect their site, and at Iona he makes wines that are unique and flavorful but low in alcohol.

    South Africa

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    An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. 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, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping 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 the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

    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 earthy, gamey 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 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. A couple of commonalities always exist, however—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and is important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand and California, while Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon Blanc. High-quality Sauvignon Blanc is also produced in Washington State, Australia, and parts of northern Italy.

    In the Glass

    From its homeland in the Loire Valley, where citrus, flinty, and smoky flavors shine through in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, to Marlborough, New Zealand, where it is pungent, racy, and “green” (think grass, leaves, gooseberries, and bell peppers) and tastes of grapefruit and passionfruit, Sauvignon Blanc has something to offer every wine drinker. In Bordeaux, it is typically blended with Sémillon and Muscadelle to produce a softer, richer style. In California, any of the aforementioned styles can be emulated.

    Perfect Pairings

    The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor—from bell pepper and cut grass to passionfruit, gooseberry, and ripe kiwi lend it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood, and mild Asian dishes. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like goat cheese and 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.

    VPC640305_2005 Item# 92202

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