It’s time to start writing about South African wine again. After a hiatus during which I became a marathon runner and changed careers, I miss having this space to talk about my favorite wine region in the world. Without further ado:
On Friday I headed out to Niagara to help rack some wine, and I had time to hang out at beautiful Eveningside Vineyards and enjoy the hot weather with a cold bottle of Paul Cluver 2009 sauvignon blanc in the shade of the vines (harvest is nearly upon us here in Niagara County, New York––take a look at those Cabernet Franc grapes!). I was very excited to see this bottle in a shop in Columbus, Ohio, when visiting my family there a few months ago; I know this producer to be highly regarded and have been dying for some good Elgin sauvignon blanc in this extremely hot summer season. To find an example from the 2009 vintage, an outstanding year for sauvignon blanc in Elgin, was quite lucky.
The first sip made me swoon: chalky, lemony-lime notes on the nose and a mouthful of gooseberry on the palate. This is exactly how I remember the sauvignon blanc of SA’s cool-climate regions.
There is a fullness about the wine that complements the searing acidity; when I searched for technical information on the website I found that a small amount of oak-aged Semillon is blended in. I love the effect.
I’ll be heading to Ohio later this week to see family again, and I’ll be sure to look for another bottle of this; though it was great on its own, and a perfect respite from the heat, I would love to experience it with a Valencay cheese or some Portuguese sardines. If you live in Cape Town, do me a favor and have a glass of this on the waterfront or the beach with some fresh seafood as soon as possible; that’s exactly how I’d want to enjoy it.