The balancing act

by | Apr 1, 2016 | Opinion

The quality of South African Sauvignon Blanc is peaking. At the recent Which Wine tasting the category’s price point versus the quality was a point of debate.


The quality of the wine is fairly good with a clear-cut difference between fair “pool sippers” and great wines. Some display a great balance of pyrazines and thiols coupled with enjoyable salinity. Not to forget, we tasted only 10 wines so it wouldn’t be fair to make sweeping statements about the category.


The general cultivar traits were easily expressed but winemakers need to pay attention to their sulphur dosages which covered some of the fruitiness of the wines. Some of the wines are cellared beyond their time and the bottle maturation spells out the wine was great in its heyday. Overall, interesting wines with a variety of flavours, aromas and fantastic pyrazine and thiol balance.


The weather is suitable for this category. What we see mostly from producers is smart, sophisticated and grown Sauvignon Blanc with fresh, pure fruit. Exceptional wine even though some scream “commercial”. Some of the styles are extreme and may in some cases scare away consumers.

List of wines

  1. Springfield Special Cuveé Sauvignon Blanc 2015
  2. Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2014
  3. Nitida Reserve Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Woolworths
  4. Mooiplaas Sauvignon Blanc 2015
  5. Shannon Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Woolworths
  6. Cape Point Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Woolworths
  7. Cederburg Sauvignon Blanc 2015
  8. Steenberg Reserve Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2015
  9. Villiera Bush Vine Sauvignon Blanc 2014
  10. Iona Sauvignon Blanc 2015

For ratings, tasting notes and more information on the wines tasted for the April Which Wine edition, please click here.

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