Thursday, December 27, 2007

South Africa VS New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Face Off: Review by Billy

Today I am at PBs house for the holidays. We put the Kim Crawford 2006 Sauvignon Blanc head to head against the Sebeka Sauvignon Blanc from the Western Cape of South Africa (also the 2006 vintage).

We blind poured and were able to identify the wines immediately by their distinctive noses. The Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc was intensely citrussy and "out there" in a delightful way. The Sebeka was earthy and fungal in a pleasing way that I tend to attribute to the South African viticulture (almost regardless of varietal). This is one of the reasons I so enjoy the South African wines - the have preserved a sense of place.

On to the reviews:

Kim Crawford 2006 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc:
Nose: big soft lemon with honey. pleasant
Palate: acids predominate on the palate giving backbone to the soft lemon and honey flavors.
Finish: soft and tapering, lingering citrus that is a delight.

VS


Sebeka 2006 Western Cape Sauvignon Blanc
Nose: earthy and fungal with a softly floral scent. Soft citrus pulp smell underneath the wonderfully intriguing terroir smells.
Palate: acids predominate providing good food-accompanying structure. Nice mouth feel and lingering earthy character.
Finish: weak finish in an otherwise interesting wine.

Overall: The Kim Crawford stands alone as a more nicely crafted wine. The Sebeka has so many interesting flavor characteristics, though, that it really should not be missed.

The Sebeka runs about $8-10 a bottle and the Kim Crawford about twice that at $14 - 20 a bottle. Of the two wines the Kim Crawford with its bigger flavors will do well both before as well as during a meal. The Sebeka will do well before a meal for folks who want an interesting and enjoyable Sauvignon Blanc, though it will shine during the meal with its earthy profile and un-intrusive citrus.

Both wines are worth Raising a Glass to.

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