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.
The three Rietvallei wines that received Platinum achievements at the SAWI Fine Wine Guide are:
Rietvallei Wine Estate Heritage JMB Chardonnay
Rietvallei Wine Estate Classic Natural Unwooded Chardonnay
Rietvallei Wine Estate Heritage JMB Cab Franc
The Rietvallei wine that received Grand Gold at the SAWI FIne Wine Guide is:
Rietvallei Wine Estate Heritage Estèanna Red Cabernet Sauvignon Cab Franc Petit Verdot
As the year draws to a close it is time for a different kind of harvest. It is the time when wineries have the opportunity to gain recognition from national and international competitions for the hard work and dedication that goes into every bottle of wine.
Rietvallei prides itself on a heritage of quality and innovation, so it will come as no surprise that this family wine estate has harvested several awards in the last few months. The awards harvest started in July, at the 2018 Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards, when the JMB Cabernet Franc 2015 was selected as the top Cabernet Franc in South Africa.
This was followed by and excellent showing at the 2018 Gold Wine Awards, where the Rietvallei John B range collected four gold medals for the John B Brut Bubbly, John B Pink Bubbly, John B Rosé and John B Sauvignon Blanc.
At the 2018 Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards Rietvallei rounded up yet another four gold medals with the JMB Cabernet Franc 2014, JMB Chardonnay 2017, Dark Cin (Cinsaut) 2016 and the Estéanna Red 2015. These wines are included in the Rietvallei Heritage Collection, a selection of special, limited edition wines.
Rietvallei continued their gold harvest at the 2018 Veritas Awards for the estate’s flagship white wine, the Estéanna White (a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc). To round it off, the Rietvallei Sauvignon Blanc 2018 was selected as runner-up at the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 competition, proudly adding its name to the top 20 list.
The accolades achieved by Rietvallei during this season’s awards harvest illustrates the broad range of consistently excellent and highly drinkable wines created by this family-owned wine estate.
We are honoured and looking forward to hosting music stars Loki Rothman and Laurika Rauch at Rietvallei.
Date: 3 November 2018
Time: Gates open at 18h00, Show starts at 20h00
Tickets: R200 pp
Table reservations only for full table bookings of 8 or 10 people
Food: Bring your own food/snacks or book a picnic basket before 31 October (R250 for two people)
Picnic Basket include: Pesto pasta salad, Mediterranean cous cous salad, selection of cold meats, smoked chicken sausages, cheese selection, farm butter, French loaf, Hummus, sun-dried tomato pesto, Avocado patee, Pecannut tarts, Greek apple tarts
Rietvallei Estate: 0236263596 / [email protected]
Robertson Pharmacy: 023 626 3031
* Sorry, no children under the age of 15
* No alcohol allowed accept for Rietvallei’s Wines
“Every family has a story that it tells itself, that it passes on to the children and grandchildren. The story grows over the years, mutates, some parts are sharpened, others dropped, and there is often debate about what really happened. But even with these different sides of the same story, there is still agreement that this is the family story. And in the absence of other narratives, it becomes the flagpole that the family hangs its identity from.” (A.M. Homes)
In 1864, the Burger family began its rich family tradition on Rietvallei Estate, nestled in the beautiful Klaasvoogds valley just outside Robertson. It was from a fellow named Klaas Voogd, who got caught unaware and was trampled to death by an elephant, that the Klaasvoogds area derived its name.
The Burger heritage started when Alwyn Burger bought the farm for his son Koos, who settled with his family on the farm and was also the first winemaker to make the Red Muscadel. For many years it was the only wine featured on the Rietvallei portfolio, and in 1908 Koos planted Rietvallei’s famous block of Muscadel vineyard. To this day, this vineyard produces excellent fruit and is the oldest red muscadel vineyard in South Africa. The original Muscadel-making recipe is still used to this day and for many years this hand-written recipe was nailed behind the cellar door.
Today, Kobus Burger represents the 6th generation of Burgers on the estate, operating as CEO and winemaker of Rietvallei. He and wife Elizabeth have two daughters, Esté (13) and Annie (11) and twin boys, Johnny and Austin (7). Elizabeth manages the venue & tasting facilities and is famous for the magic she makes in the kitchen.
Kobus matriculated in 1993 from Paarl Boys High School. Straight out of high school he joined the South African Navy and completed a one-year Officers course at the SA Naval College in Gordons Bay. After that, in 1995, he enrolled to study mechanical engineering at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He achieved his degree and pursued a career in mechanical engineering for 3 years, before feeling the call of his wine-making heritage. In 2002, he decided to enter the family business, joining forces with his father Johnny. Together they decided to break away from Distell, who had managed the Estate’s marketing and distribution for more than 25 years, in favour of Vinimark.
It was also in 2002 when Kobus started gaining his experience in the art of wine making. From January to March he joined the wine making team at the Bergkelder (Stellenbosch) for their harvest and in September he went to France, where he worked in Sancerre at the Henri Bourgeois Family Wine Cellar for their harvest season. The year ended on a high note when he married Elizabeth in November and they moved back to Rietvallei.
Kobus’ first harvest on Rietvallei was in 2003, with Johnny still at the helm and teaching him the finer skills of wine making. The following year, Johnny stepped back from the wine making and started to focus more on the farming side of business. After his first harvest as winemaker at Rietvallei in 2004, Kobus has slowly developed and broaden the Rietvallei portfolio to the wide variety of ranges and wines it has today.