DE WETSHOF ESTATE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019
AN INTRODUCTION TO DE WETSHOF ESTATE
De Wetshof is a third generation wine estate in South Africa's Robertson Valley, where wine has been made for over 150 years. Here Danie de Wet, proprietor and cellar master, is assisted by sons and co-owners Johann (viticulture and marketing) and Peter (winemaker). De Wetshof Estate is a pioneer of noble white wines in South Africa and has also introduced superior red cultivars to the Robertson Wine Valley.
On De Wetshof a firm belief prevails, namely that one cannot know where you are going unless you know where you have come from. This is why the history of De Wetshof's vineyards plays a profound role in determining present and future wine quality. Since the early 1970's meticulous records have been kept on each vineyard as to the plants' reaction to soil-types, irrigation and the vagaries of climate, as well as their development and progress over the years. Each vineyard is thus vinified separately during the wine-making process, the wine-makers having a clear understanding of what the fruit of each vineyard's labour is going to deliver during a specific year.
This commitment to site-specific vineyard management and wine-making has been an integral part of the De Wetshof ethos from the outset and remains a vital and non-negotiable aspect of all the Estate's wines.
The Sauvignon Blanc grapes are picked in the coolness of morning, the emphasis being on capturing that perfect ripe stage when the fruit has developed ripe fig flavours with softer acids whilst an abundance of crisp and fresh tropical fruit is woven into the structure. Grapes enter the cellar under reductive conditions where they are de-stemmed, skin contact for 6 - 10 hours and then pressed. After settling the clean juice is rack off the sediment and moved into stainless steel tanks for fermenting under controlled cold temperatures. Once fermentation is complete the wine is racked from the thick muddy lees and kept on the fine lees at very low temperatures. After the wine has gained further complexity from lees contact it is racked and prepared for bottling.
The wine is soft with mild acids allowing fresh tropical flavours to come to the fore. Hints of green and ripe figs are present and the finish is crisp with a lasting clean minerality .
The succulent palate structure makes this an ideal food wine, superb with oysters, seafood, pasta carbonara, barbecued meats, cream-based pasta dishes, light curries as well as roast pork and veal dishes.
Wine of Origin Robertson , De Wetshof Estate, South Africa.
The Robertson Valley is characterised by cold winters and sunny summers, with an average annual rainfall of 350 - 400mm. In summer a fresh southerly breeze has a cooling effect on the vineyards, allowing the grapes to ripen evenly and in perfect balance. The dry climate and the bracing breeze keep pests to a minimum, resulting in sparse spraying programmes.
Controlled computerised irrigation systems including the monitoring of soil moisture content ensure the vines are given exactly the right amount of water at the right time to produce grapes of optimum ripeness and developed flavours.
The soils are close to the Breede River and show an abundance of sand and gravel with plenty of limestone that was washed down from the mountain slopes over previous millennia. Below the soils' surface the gravel allows the roots to mine down deep for nutrients and in the process a pronounced minerality develops in the fruit. This type of soil, which has a sparse water-retention component, is very cold which assists the plants in the difficult period over a hot mid-summer.