Thursday, October 18, 2018

2018 FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Awards at Landtscap, Stellenbosch

The announcement of the Top 10 South African Sauvignon Blancs was held last week at the magnificent Landtscap venue, which overlooks Devon Valley in Stellenbosch. Proudly sponsored by First National Bank, they really pushed the boat out and we had a superb celebration. The early evening views over the valley towards the blue mountains in the distance are exceptional
There were three food stations; groaning with food for us to pick at before dinner and the awards ceremony which were held inside. We were poured glasses of Steenberg Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc
Choices, choices
Succulent Parma ham and there was some good smoked salmon
A waitress bearing bubbles from Steenberg
It was a large crowd of winemakers and media
Inside, tables were set for the awards and supper
Beautifully decorated tables with fresh flowers
And an orchid on each place setting
Our very funny MC for the evening was Schalk Bezuidenhout
The menu. The tables outside at the top and the dinner below
The main course of Chilli and Ginger marinated Pork Belly with excellent fondant potatoes, a good apple jus, baby carrots, a red cabbage fritter beneath which was really meaty, tooth-breaking "crackling" and topped with an apple crisp. The pork flavourful, but also was a bit fatty; it would be great if they pressed the meat after the first cooking, which gets rid of most of the fat before the second cooking
Sumptuous roses and frilly carnations
Winnie Bowman presented winemaker Neil Ellis with an award for his services to Sauvignon Blanc
Neil is the retiring Chairman of the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group
Stephan Claassen of First National Bank is in charge of their
Business Banking for the Western and Eastern Cape
Kleine Zalze winemaker RJ Botha is the incoming Chairman of SBIG. He said that Sauvignon Blanc is a wild wine, crisp, elegant with gooseberries, passion fruit, pyrazines; the best smell in a tank day, and it makes Moolah! 22% of Sauvignon now retails above R90 a bottle. Grapes cost over R5750 a ton and we grow more of it than most other varietals, including Cabernet. It is on the rise, so SBIG's aim is to focus on marketing this abroad and to the local market. The Sauvignon Blancs from the Cape compare at the highest level to others grown elsewhere. This year, there were 167 wines entered. Put the word out there please about how good it is. (We do all the time RJ! And we tell people it’s OK to drink it older; in fact it gets better with age)
Thys Louw of Diemersdal talked about the judges and the wines they tasted
These are the top 10 Sauvignons Blanc for 2018
Tokara Reserve Collection Elgin 2018, Zalze Vineyard Reserve 2017 (Kleine Zalze),
Bellingham Homestead 2018, D’Aria The Songbird 2017, De Grendel Koetshuis 2017 (wooded)
Diemersdal Winter Ferment 2018, Flagstone Free Run 2017, Fryer’s Cove Doringbay 2017,
Nitida Wild Child 2017 (wooded), Rustenberg 2018

Dessert would have suited some kids, a firm Bubble gum flavoured panna cotta with candyfloss and raspberry jelly, white chocolate dipped jam donuts, and popcorn sticks drizzled with chocolate

The top ten winners

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