#288 Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc 2022
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Sauvignon and the inuits
The Inuit people have between 40 and 50 different words for snow, I’m told.
And this is because when you live around something for your entire life, and have studied its myriad forms and nuances, you need to develop entire lexicons to do justice to the art of communicating on the topic. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that the team at Klein Constantia have gone to the trouble of developing their own Sauvignon Blanc flavour wheel; to help fellow Sauvignon Blanc nuts to more completely express their admiration for this remarkably distinctive (but also varied) grape.
Savvy Bee’s rising star
In 2022, Sauvignon Blanc had more new vine plantings than any other cultivar in South Africa. It is also South Africa’s largest wine export, and is also the most domestically consumed cultivar. But for all this, there are very few estates who would be brave enough to say that Sauvignon Blanc is their calling card. And perhaps this is what makes Klein Constantia so special. They have literally bet the farm on Sauvignon, releasing FIVE separate bottlings of the grape, are unashamedly Sauvignon-centric. So, really, a flavour wheel dedicated purely to Sauvignon is really just the tip of their iceberg, and when we get into the winemaking details on the Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc, you’ll see just how deep the rabbit hole goes. Yes, it’s a rabbit hole down the centre of an iceberg.
Of course, if you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you’ll have to hunt this wine down in your own time. But until then, here are my tasting notes and some technical specs to whet your appetite:
👃🏼 A pleasant nose of lime zest, elderflower, wild heather, lemon curd, and leesy cheesecake crust.
👄 The wine is undeniably dry, and initially presents as very serious. Especially when served very cold. But as it warms, the pleasantly full palate reveals a lovely mix of freshly squeezed oranges, slightly sweet queen pineapple, and a touch of homemade lemonade. This segues into some slightly more bitter fresh quince notes, with white grapefruit and meyer lemon pith.
🔬 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Wine of Origin Constantia. Grapes are harvested from a total of 42 blocks of Sauvignon Blanc, ranging in altitude from 70m all the way up to 340m ASL.
Each block is fermented separately. 80% of the fruit was fermented using native yeasts, while 20% was inoculated with non-Saccharomyces cerevisae, such as Metschnikowia pulcherrima – which, quite remarkably can perform insane functions as drastically reducing resultant alcohol levels, reducing the potential for oxidation, and suppressing unwanted microbial infections. Pre-fermentation skin contact is also quite prevalent in the cellar, and many of the longer ferments can continue for up to two months.
10% of the final wine was barrel aged 500l older oak.
| Alc 13.7% | RS 2.3g/l | TA 6.34 g/l | pH 3.3 |
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