The newly released Rietvallei Estéanna Sauvignon Blanc 2018 marks a significant stylistic departure in this flagship wine’s evolution – expressing the exceptional potential of the vintage on the estate. In fact, it is the first single cultivar wine under the Estéanna label since its launch in 2009 and also the only one thus far where the Sauvignon Blanc was barrel- fermented and matured on the lees for nine months.
“During harvesting, I noted the potential of our Sauvignon Blanc grapes from the onset. The comparatively high sugar level and also the beautiful acid and pH were most exciting,” says Kobus Burger, winemaker and CEO of this leading Robertson estate. “Sauvignon Blanc forms the core of our wine production, representing 40% of the total. We have four different Sauvignon Blanc wines in our four wine ranges and I thus thought it would be fitting to add this unique new variation.”
“The wine’s name derives from our darling daughters, Esté and Annie, who were the inspiration behind it,” says Burger, who holds family values and traditions close to his heart.
The brand originally started with the red Estéanna 2007 blend in 2009. The first white Estéanna followed in 2012 – a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Viognier, with the Sauvignon Blanc dominating, but unwooded while the rest of the components were all barrel-fermented and -matured.
During the next four years the composition remained essentially the same, but from 2016 Chardonnay dominated in slightly varying cultivar compositions. The Estéanna 2017 – comprising Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc – won a coveted Veritas Gold last year. The Sauvignon Blanc vineyards are planted at various unique terroir locations on the estate, ranging from deep alluvial soils on the banks of the Breede River to red calcareous soils on southeast facing slopes. All the vineyards are trellised and under drip irrigation. Rietvallei is one of South Africa’s oldest family-owned wine estates, now in its 6th generation since 1864, where a wide range of noble cultivars is grown and the wines bottled in four individualistic ranges.
The selection process for this special cuvée already started with the identification of specific vineyards and taking special care from pruning and canopy management, right through to harvesting to ensure a low yield and premium quality. The grapes were harvested at optimum ripeness of 25°B. Only the free-run juice was selected and allowed to settle for three weeks at 5°C. The clean juice was then racked and transferred to stainless steel tanks for fermentation at 13°C. When reaching 15 °B, the must was transferred to second-fill French oak barrels and fermented totally dry; before nine months’ lees contact in barrel with regular battonage. Just before bottling in November, the wine was racked from the barrels, stabilised and fined. No filtration was done.
A full-bodied, barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc with outspoken aromas of passion fruit, grapefruit, green fig and a touch of capsicum. Crisp acidity, with a pleasing, creamy weight. The lingering aftertaste hints at the pedigree and longevity of this delicious wine.
Food pairing & serving
Enjoy with grilled fish or cream-based poultry dishes, even barbecued rack of lamb. Serve chilled (7 – 10ºC).
Residual Sugar 2.50 g/l Alcohol 14.18 %
Acidity 7.90 g/l PH 3.04
VA – 0.54 g/l Total Extract 23.1 g/l
Total SO2 121 mg/l Free SO2 45 mg/l.
To introduce and celebrate this delicious new release, Rietvallei hosted a lovely function, showcasing the Estéanna Sauvignon Blanc. Combined with delicious food, a beautiful venue and good company, this wine is right at home and well nestled in its place among Rietvallei’s other fine wines.