Vintage 2020 in Marlborough, New Zealand is being described as a clean, disease-free harvest delivering “stunning flavours” in this region’s world-famous Sauvignon Blanc wines. A batch of these will be shipped to South Africa later this year under the Diemersdal Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc label, the second year this Durbanville estate will be introducing South African wine-lovers to the marvels of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
The maiden Diemersdal Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2019 was released last year. It was an instant hit with wine consumers, leading Diemersdal owner-winemaker Thys Louw to instruct his New Zealand partner to prepare the second bottling.
Since last year Thys has teamed-up with well-known Marlborough winemaker Ben Glover from Glover Family Vineyards to initiate Project Diemersdal Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
“I am pleased at the reception the Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough under the Diemersdal label received in South Africa,” says Louw. “It is one of my favourite wine regions in the world, and I wanted to share my love of that style of Sauvignon Blanc with the local consumer. We are truly looking forward to this year’s wines from the Land of the Long White Cloud. The only downside being that I was unable to be involved with the harvest there due to the travel restrictions resulting from COVID-19.”
Glover, who manages the project for Thys in Marlborough, says the dry conditions on the east coast of New Zealand had a profoundly positive effect on this year’s harvest. “We had no rain in the Marlborough Valley during harvest, nor any humid conditions during key times of the growing season, such as bunch-closure and flowering,” says Glover. “From a harvest point of view, this has been the cleanest harvest I have seen. Flavour-wise, the grapes are showing the stunning profiles of what we saw in Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in 2001 and 2010 – if not better. All-in-all the best vintage I have worked – even under the cover of COVID-19,”
Sugar levels seemed lower across the board, with flavours being ripe. A lot of the Sauvignon Blanc was picked around 20.5°B- 21.5°B, with very few harvested at over 22°B.
The grapes for Diemersdal Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc were picked on the 4 April at 20.2°B.
“The juice and the young ferments look great and show true vibrant, punchy notes of guava, melon and citrus stalk,” says Glover. “The famous pungent power of those great green Marlborough flavours and a salty texture are just starting to work its magic. Can’t wait for the wines to be ready to send to South Africa and hear your thoughts.”