2010 Sauvignon Blanc – Pepin Condé

Varietal: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Fruit source: a blend of two vineyards near the Palmiet River in Elgin
Yield: 4 tons/hectare
Total production: 7947 bottles
˚B at harvest: 22-23.5˚
Alcohol: 13.5%
Total Acid: 6.4
Residual sugar: 6.5
Age of vines: 11 years
Trellis: 5-wire vsp
Irrigation: supplemental drip irrigation
Vineyard elevation: 240m
Slope: Southerly

Details of vinification and oaking:

My winemaking approach for this sauvignon blanc was influenced by two ideas that I have regarding this varietal: first, that many South African sauvignon blancs are dominated by green, un-ripe flavours; and second, that with so many similar wines on the market, why make the same wines as everyone else? The grapes for this wine are from two different sites in fairly close proximity to each other in Elgin. Both are trellised, low-yielding vineyards. This wine is 20% barrel fermented, but only in older, 3rd and 4th fill barrels; no new oak was used. The barrel fermentation components were done with its indigenous yeasts. After primary fermentation, the wine was left on its primarily lees and given occasional battonage for 7 months. The idea was to build richness and minerality on the palate to balance the fine natural acidity. The wines in barrel finished fermentation with a bit of residual sugar, but I found that it provided a nice balance to the higher acidity of the vintage.