Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Made reductively in order to maximize the fruit personality of the vintage, the 2018 shows more marked fruit aromatics than usual, while maintaining the typical Southern Right balance of Old Worldminerality and length with hints of New World palate coverage and body. 2018 is a wine that flavors origin expressive individuality, minerality and palate complexity ahead of pure, pungent varietalaroma. A significant percentage of fruit from clay-rich soil has added an intense mid-palate structural component and addition overall complexity to this wine.
In 1994, Anthony Hamilton-Russell founded Southern Right Cellars as a Pinotage specialist, convinced that Pinotage has the intrinsic qualities to produce truly world-class wine with a distinct South African expression and typicity. As an early ripening grape, it is Anthony’s belief that Pinotage will perform best in cooler, maritime areas, where a longer, slower ripening season will afford fully developed tannins and a greater fruit complexity.
In partnership with winemaker Kevin Grant, the team initiated plantings on four carefully chosen, clay rich sites in the cool, maritime Walker bay appellation. Following in-depth soil research on Hamilton-Russell vineyards, Anthony and Kevin were able to discern that the most site-expressive and complex wines will be produced off of the stony, clay-rich Bokkeveld shale soils in the area. In 1998, a 113 hectare farm in the beautiful Hemel-en-Aarde Valley near Hermanus, was purchased as a central home for the Southern Right Cellar.
The first Southern Right Pinotage and Sauvignon Blanc were released in 1995. As an early ripening grape, it is Anthony’s belief that Pinotage will perform best in cooler, maritime areas, where a longer, slower With each bottle of Southern Right wine sold, Southern Right Cellars makes a contribution to Southern Right whale conservation in the Walker Bay.
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.