Monday 3 February 2014


ALL the way from South Africa – history
in the naming, rewarding in the drinking.

David Ellis

WE'RE certainly not averse to a nicely chilled Sauvignon Blanc on a hot day – nor any other day for that matter – and one we particularly enjoyed over the recent holidays was not from Australia nor even from New Zealand… it hailed all the way from South Africa.

And interestingly from near Cape Agulhas, the cool-climate, southern-most point on the African continent, and made from grapes grown on what was found in 2001 by a group of friends looking for a vineyard site, as a decrepit, run-down, one-time wheat farm.

Bottled under a First Sighting label this 2013 Sauvignon Blanc is a rewarding drop that reflects it's slow-ripening from one of the region's wettest winters with accompanying cool and frosty nights, and followed by a dry January with top summer temperatures of just 29C. With 15% Semillon blended into its base 85% Sauvignon Blanc, it's a wine with nice tropical and citrus fruit flavours that takes well to chilling.

At $18 match it with fish, pork chops, other white meats, or even sushi; the First Sighting name comes from the "first sighting" of the African continent by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias way back in 1488. If you have difficulty finding it, get onto importers Africape Wines who have offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

QUAFF this one on a hot summer's
day, you'll not be disappointed.
ONE TO NOTE: ADELAIDE HILLS' Chain of Ponds has released another great quaffer for hot weather enjoyment, a 2013 Novello Rosé to simply enjoy on its own or to put on the table with summery seafood salads, cheese platters, tapas or as a nice foil to curries and other spicy dishes.

Really vibrant pink in colour, it has a bouquet all about strawberries and cream and suggestions of fresh raspberries, with strawberries and raspberries on the palate, and all balanced with a quite subtle spicy finish and a sweetness that's not-overpowering.

Good buying at $18 it's a rewarding blend of Sangiovese (72%) and Pinot Noir (28%) for summertime enjoyment.

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