This is a superb, singular expression of Stellenbosch Sauvignon that has more in common with the lean and elegant wines of France's Loire Valley than your typically tropical New World example. Made from grapes grown on two exposed blocks at the top of the Schapenberg, miminal intervention and fermented with natural yeast this wine is released only in exceptional vintages. The nose is restrained and delicate with aromas of honey, white flowers, fennel and fresh citrus. Layered and textural with taut acidity and a saline bite balancing the concentrated, lightly honeyed fruit. It is a richly flavoured, complex wine of fine balance and elegance with a steely, mineral core. If you can resist drinking it immediately it is capable of ageing for many years and should be decanted and aerated before serving for best results.
Try this with crayfish served with lime, chilli and coriander, or simply with a plate of asparagus and goats cheese.
"Waterkloof are a model of how you can produce world-class, accessible wine sustainably and the quality of the wine speaks for itself. This Sauvignon is a class act. Lean and textured with subtle depth of flavour. I'd enjoy this with goats' cheese."
Founded by Paul Boutinot in 2004, Waterkloof is a family-owned farm using organic practices. The farm is perched high up on the windswept Schapenberg, overlooking False Bay and The Atlantic Ocean. Living soils, naturally low yields and a long growing season help provide talented Cellarmaster Nadia Barnard with naturally balanced grapes that are imbued with a truly defining sense of origin. Those grapes are then transformed into wine with a minimum of intervention.
As well as being ECOCERT certified as organic, and working biodynamically, Waterkloof goes much further than many in its efforts to be a highly sustainable winery. A member of The Integrated Production of Wine Scheme, a voluntary environmental sustainability scheme established by the South African wine industry in 1998, and of The Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trading Association, a multi-stakeholder, non-profit voluntary organisation which actively promotes ethical trade in the wine industry, it is has also been a member of the World Wildlife Fund’s Biodiversity & Wine Initiative from its inception. Through a partnership between the IPW and the BWI, Waterkloof is a WWF Conservation Champion and has in place a formal nature conservation plan.
The wine crafted from this single windswept block situated 300-320 metres above sea-level and just 2 miles from The Atlantic, transcends Sauvignon Blanc's usual varietal character. The vines are 25 years old and production was less than 2 tons per hectare (15-20 tons per hectare is not unusual for sauvignon blanc). Waterkloof follow a traditional, minimalistic approach in their gravitational cellar which means interfering as little as possible with the winemaking process. Grapes are whole-bunch pressed, which ensures that juice is extracted in the gentlest way. The juice is then allowed to settle for 24 hours after which it is racked from the settling tank into older 600 liter barrels for a long, natural fermentation with no addition of yeast. After a very slow fermentation process of approximately 8 months, followed by an extra month on the primary lees, the wine was racked off in preparation for bottling. The wine is released only in exceptional vintages. It is capable of ageing for many years and should be aerated before serving with food.