Archive for May, 2010

“Sincerely” is a lively Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa.  Hailing from the Neil Ellis stable in Stellenbosch, this wine is one of the more exciting offerings from South Africa.

From their website:

Neil Ellis Wines differs from most South African wineries in that instead of owning vineyards we have focused on producing the best wine possible and sourcing the grapes from top quality growers.

Recognizing that different grape varieties thrive under different soil and climate conditions which are not likely to be found on a single estate, from our company’s start our philosophy has been to locate those areas that produce a distinctive grape quality and work closely with quality-minded growers in those areas. Today our grapes come from three main vineyard sites: Oude Nektar Farm in Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch; Contreberg Farm in Groenekloof, Darling; the Whitehall farm in Elgin.

Oude Nektar Farm, Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch

The 40ha of vines on Oude Nektar are the primary source for our red wines. Most of Jonkershoek Valley is a nature reserve, well-known for its fynbos, hiking trails and waterfalls, but at the mouth of the valley sit a few farms privileged to its unique micro-climate. The inner valley is known to have the highest rainfall in South Africa and in an average year Oude Nektar receives about 1200mm (although in the last three years of drought we have been closer to 900mm). The soils are mostly deep, red, clay soils. We initiated a complete replanting program in 1989 which was completed this year with a final 3-hectare block of shiraz.

Contreberg Farm, Groenekloof, Darling

Recognizing the unique quality of the grapes from the Groenekloof ward, in 1996 Neil Ellis Wines entered into a partnership with Alex Versveld to farm the 120ha Contreberg farm which is the source of our Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc. Groenekloof is situated near Darling on the West Coast and here the hills rise to 385 metres above sea level. The vineyards are only 8 km from the cold Southern Atlantic with its cool prevailing southwesterly winds. Soils are deep, red, decomposed granite and produce lively, complex Sauvignon Blanc wines. This area has particularly consistent weather.

Whitehall Farm, Elgin
Elgin is the Cape’s coolest viticultural area (Region I-II on the Winkler system) and has a unique climate and topography, consisting of an upland basin plateau, surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides. This region shows climatic similarities to Burgundy, only slightly cooler by comparison. Elgin tends to show more vintage difference than most other South African viticultural areas.

This 2007 Sauvignon Blanc is surprisingly good. The nose is very pleasant with hints of a meadow in springtime.  The flavor of this wine is light and crisp with strong notes of apple, straw, melon and a hint of citrus. Finish is strong yet clean, making it a great value at $17/bottle.

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