Savage White Blend 2019
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2019 White Savage is hand-sorted before being processed into Nomblot concrete tanks for alcoholic fermentation; 30% of the grapes are left whole bunch. It has an intense nose, not overt fruit but rather scents of wet wool, candle wax and lanolin, all beautifully defined. The palate is very well balanced with crisp acidity, a slightly waxy texture and touches of cereal and grilled hazelnut toward the persistent finish. It is not a wine for every palate, but those who like it will love it.
A blend of 64% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Sémillon and 16% Chenin Blanc, the 2019 Proprietary White first begins with obvious yet soft grapefruit and herbaceous tones from the Sauvignon Blanc before aromas of citrus blossom flutter in with an undertone of underripe pineapple and wax melon in the glass. Medium to full-bodied, the wine offers a clean, crisp expression with a delightful mineral tension that feels almost dusty on the palate. Energetic acidity is front and center, as the wine displays a long, lingering finish. It's an absolutely delightful wine that demonstrates texture, elegance and beauty. Give it a try. Rating: 91+
With an important wine renaissance 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.
Sometimes light and crisp, other times rich and creamy, Bordeaux White Blends typically consist of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Often, a small amount of Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris is included for added intrigue. Popularized in Bordeaux, the blend is often mimicked throughout the New World. Somm Secret—Sauternes and Barsac are usually reserved for dessert, but they can be served before, during or after a meal. Try these sweet wines as an aperitif with jamón ibérico, oysters with a spicy mignonette or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage.