South Africa, day 2 - the Sauvignon seminar

It has been a really good day.

Today was the SBIG seminar, and it was really well attended. The great and the good of the South African wine-making community gathered, and unfortunately had to listen to me, along with expert consultant and sulfur-like off flavours expert Dominique Delteil, as well as Stellenbosch researcher Wessel du Toit, Morne Kemp of Laffort and sommelier Jorg Pfutzner.

My two talks – one on Sauvignon flavour, bottling considerations and closure choice, and the other about Sauvignon worldwide, went pretty well.

Probably the best bit, though, was the tasting. I’d selected 12 Sauvignons from around the world to present blind. Sadly, the two French wines (Sancerre and Bordeaux) got stuck in customs, as did the Chilean wine.

But those that got through were brilliant. The one South African example I chose was Cape Point. Pieter de Waal, who organized the meeting, had some bottles of the 2005 which he put into the tasting. An aged Sauvignon surprised people, but this showed beautifully.

The other wines? A diverse set, all of which I like a lot:

Blind River 2010 Marlborough, NZ
Seresin 2009 Marlborough, NZ
Dog Point Section 94 2008 Marlborough, NZ
Saint Clair Private Block 1 2009 Marlborough, NZ
Framingham 2010 Marlborough, NZ
Inama Vulcaia 2009, Veneto, Italy
Polz Hossgrassnitzberg 2008 Sudsteirmark, Austria
Cape Point 2005 South Africa

Pictured above is where I am staying tonight, at Graham Beck in Franschhoek. It’s lovely, even though it is raining.

Last night I dined at Cassia, Nitida in Durbanville, with Bernhard (Ntida) and Pieter (his label is Hermit on the Hill), who both showed their wines.  They were really good.

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