Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2013, South Africa
I nternational Sauvignon Blanc Day is coming up April 24, so now is the time to start scouting out some good wines to drink that day. My first suggestion would be Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc.
When most people think of sauvignon blanc they assume the wine is either in the New Zealand herbaceous style, the more austere French style or the California tropical fruit-forward style.
Enter the South African style, which is a nice mix among those styles, and a great presentation of that style comes from Mulderbosch.
The winery was recognized as one of South Africa’s finest producers before it was bought by famed wine investor Charles Banks. He has taken the wines to new heights.
The Sauvignon Blanc is a beautiful gold-green in the glass, with fresh aromas of green figs and grapefruit and floral hints. I love mineral flavors in wine, and the Mulderbosch has plenty of them, balanced with ripe fruit and an almost savory flavor. The finish is long and strong.
The grapes are harvested in the morning, destemmed and crushed. Maceration can range from two to 12 hours, depending on the properties of each batch of grapes. The winery keeps the sauvignon blanc on the lees for as long as possible to increase palate weight, texture and length.
The winemakers also feel this is a great natural preservative, allowing them to use as little sulphur as possible during maturation of the wine. Prior to bottling the wine is cold- and protein stabilized, then microbiologically assessed in order to determine the minimal level of filtration required.
The winery says the wine can be cellared for up to seven years, but I would drink it as early as possible. It’s outstanding now, and I don’t think cellaring really helps Sauvignon Blanc much, even one as good as this. Serve it well chilled.
Winery: Founded in 1989, Mulderbosch Vineyards is one of South Africa’s premier wineries. It gained attention early on for sauvignon blanc and rosé wines, and also produces a great chenin blanc. It was one of several wineries whose high quality wines put South Africa on the world map.
The winery, located in the Stellenbosch Hills outside of Stellenbosch, is known for consistently producing award-winning wines at moderate prices.
Global demand for its wines brought quick growth and eventually in 2011 sale of the winery to noted wine investor Charles Banks. Banks gained fame as managing partner of Jonata and cult favorite Screaming Eagle Winery and later founded Terroir Capital which has bought wineries around the world, including the historic Mayacamas Vineyards.
Banks hired winemaker Adam Mason and the two have focused on taking the Stellenbosch to an even higher level. Banks met Mason several years earlier in the Napa Valley where Mason had worked a stint with highly regarded Napa winemaker Andy Erickson.
Together they have brought improvements to both the vineyards and the cellar, with a strong focus on upgrading vineyard management practices and improvement of grape sourcing program. As a valuable member of the greater Terroir Selections portfolio, Erickson provides critical guidance with respect to winemaking and blending decisions, visiting Mulderbosch during both harvest and blending periods each year.
They continue to emphasize sauvignon blanc and rosé, and started bringing more attention to the chenin blanc.
Stellenbosch has its own estate-grown bush vines dating back to the 1970s and has strong relationships with growers who share an interest in sustainable farming. The company is actively involved in land conservation and rehabilitation through initiatives such as the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative which aims to conserve marginal habitats overlapping the Cape’s vineyard footprint.
Mulderbosch’s belief in the importance of soil health has lead to intensive cover-cropping in order to preserve and increase topsoil condition, and the implementation of an intensive composting program whereby the entire grape production is composted and returned to the soils.
Goes with: We had this with one of our favorite splurge meals: broiled lobster tails. They’re really not much of a splurge when you buy them on sale at our local grocery stores, but they feel like a splurge, with their rich, succulent taste.
I split them up the back, pull the meat out and place it on top of the shell. Then I douse the meat with lemon juice and paprika, and place the tails on a broiler pan and broil them in the oven for 5 or 6 minutes, or just long enough to turn the meat white, but not tough.
We dunk the lobster in melted butter as we eat. There’s something about the mix of lemon, butter and the lobster that really makes the Mulderbosch flavors jump out. It is a very good pairing. We served the lobster with a package mix of long grain and wild rice.
Even though it was a weeknight, it felt like a special occasion. The next week I went back and bought more lobster tails to put in the freezer.
This wine also would go well with oysters, grilled fish and shellfish, calamari, smoked salmon, seafood paella or grilled vegetables
Don’t miss Dennis as the wine steward in Augusta University’s production of the opera The Marriage of Figaro, Feb. 12-14.
Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc A Great Example of South African Style
Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2013, South Africa