2017 Arendsig Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc “Block A10”
South Africa is undergoing a renaissance in its wines and winemakers. Serious numbers of new winemakers are creating wines of exceptional artistic character, and the government has stepped in to honor them. Vineyard-specific and site-specific wines are now all the rage in South Africa, and it’s time we all jump in to sample them. We’ve got one of the best for you today – Arendsig’s single-plot Sauvignon Blanc.
Although a fifth-generation farmer, Lourens van de Westhuizen is a first-generation winemaker. In 2004, after graduating from viticultural studies, he travelled to none other than Santa Rosa, the hotbed of Pinot Noir production at the time. There, he was able to work in several wineries but also on his own hand-harvested, small-lot production. Further experiences in Burgundy and Champagne followed. In essence, the way I read his resume, he managed to score amazing experiences in wineries that were all about the terroir.
When he returned home to South Africa, Dad let him make it a challenge – take some of the best small-lot sections from the family farm, turn them into wine, try and make a go of it. And, on the far slopes of the family farm with derelict vineyards planted into rock soils, Lourens could use these plots as well.
His Blok A10 Sauvignon Blanc offers a gorgeous array of expressive fruit aromas: pink grapefruit takes the lead, with green mangoes, lychee, honeydew melon, lime blossom, and jasmine. The front of the palate offers a deft touch of fruity richness, with the wine having a touch of graceful weight to round out the drinking experience. The finish ends with a zippy, crisp minerality, a freshness that makes it utterly quaffable.
But best of all is the price. Lourens and his winery are known now as experts of Sauvignon Blanc – in South Africa. And obviously wine-fame in South Africa doesn’t necessarily translate to wine sales in America. So this time around, the winery offered a deal to get the wine into the hands of the people.
Good wine is where you find it. And right now, South Africa is a treasure trove. Cheers.