David Nieuwoudt is the Rain Man of Sauvignon Blanc

An ode to a national winemaking treasure 

The Bowline 2017 is made by David Nieuwoudt. And David is indisputably the Rain Man of South African Sauvignon Blanc.

He’s made Sauvignon Blanc in at least two regions and under at least three labels in South Africa alone. He also co-owns Longavi Wines in Chile, where he’s been making wine from vines that are a century old! Finally, he’s also a Cape Winemakers Guild member (#37) and is consulted by winemakers from around the world.
In short, he’s the wine version of Ron Burgundy at a pool party.
His Wild Ferment has been the HanDrinksSolo White Wine of the year previously (and has been in my top three whites for 3yrs in a row. He also seems to be a geniunely outward-focussed individual.
Now, to the wine at hand: Bowline is a reference to a well-known sailor knot. The “King of Knots”… if we can agree that knots have kings.
The name is derived from the sense that this wine represented the ultimate intertwining of Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon.
And like any fancy knot, getting the various parts to work together is far from simple. The wine is comprised of a portion of tank-fermented sauvignon blanc, a portion of wooded sauvignon blanc, & a larger portion of wooded Semillion…all of which are put back into barrels, which are themselves a mix of first, second & third fill French oak. To which I say, “take that, John Lennon; simpler is not always better!”
“But why would you want to shackle those two grapes together?” I hear you ask.
Well, traditionally Savvy Bee & Semillon are 2 of the more prominent Bordeaux AOC-approved white grapes, & almost all SA white Bordeaux-style blends are made up of these two grapes.
So to tie this all together (see what I did there?); we know that the bowline knot is considered the king of knots. As such, it is fair to assume that (not without a hint of hubris) Nieuwoudt is essentially saying, “I have tied these grapes together like a boss.” Fair deuce.
👃🏼 Nose is Streisand-esque with exquisite, gooseberry, hints of elderflower, flint, lemon grass & oak.
👄 Superb lime zing upfront, which softens into subtle passionfruit sweetness. Lemonade prickles run down the side of the tongue & the lengthy laser-like acidity makes Andre the Giant feel like Verne Troyer.