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Sauvignon Blanc fresh from South Africa
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SA's producers reinvigorate a wine industry that is used to producing big, tannic reds

(With thanks to The Arizona Republic)

As we swelter through the summer, it's comforting to remember that in the Southern Hemisphere's wine-producing centers - south Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa - the nurturing breezes of springtime are just around the corner.

With their reversed growing seasons, producers harvest grapes during the same week Americans are watching the Rose Bowl. The fanfare that accompanies each year's November release of France's legendary Beaujolais Nouveau hasn't yet attached to the March or April arrival of new wines from the Southern Hemisphere. Nonetheless, wine lovers are thrilled when the Valley's wine shops receive these fresh whites that are just a few months old.

In recent years, South Africa's producers have made a splash as they've reinvigorated a wine industry that had grown accustomed to producing big, tannic reds as well as ports and a few Chardonnays. These results are evident in the Hoopenburg 2002 Sauvignon Blanc, a white produced in the Wellington region just east of Cape Town. 

Crafted in the same style as the crisp, light New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, the Hoopenburg wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks for three months before pressing, filtering and bottling.

The result is a crisp, clean wine whose flavor shies away from the abundance of citrus common in New Zealand vintages. This Hoopenburg has a bit more tropical flavor, revealing a pleasant, mid-mouth opening of well-balanced pineapple, grapefruit, fig and peach. On its nose there's a decided lime-and-fresh-daisies combination, while its graceful finish with 12.9 percent alcohol is simple and elegant, revealing a late taste of green apples.

A perfect sipping wine on its own merits, the Hoopenburg Sauvignon Blanc is great with seafood, grilled vegetables or salads. Try pairing it with fresh artichokes and see what springtime memories it conjures up.

Availability: $15.99 at Epicurean Wines, 7101 E. Thunderbird Road, Phoenix, (480) 998-7800.

- John Carlos Villani

Reach the Arizona Republic’s reporter at (602) 444-8384

Issued by: Simon Gers
Email: simon-gers@goodhopewineco.com


Tel: 021 884 4221   Fax: 021 884 4904   Email: info@hoopenburg.com  
R101 Old Paarl Road Muldersvlei Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa