From: Walker Bay, South Africa
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Taste and Critical Acclaim: This is a delightful Sauvignon Blanc aged in unlined amphora. The nose is open and expressive with notes of flinty citrus, chalky lime, pear, nectarine, and a savory top note of white pepper, dried herbs and mushroom. The palate is lively with a zesty, lemon and lime core buttressed by flavors of passionfruit, chamomile and a lovely, fresh, spiced finish that rides on a mineral core of wet stone. The juice was wild fermented and matured in 500 litre clay pots for 10 months before bottling. A limited-edition wine, only produced and bottled in outstanding vintages.
Wine Spectator WS 90
A distinctive white, savory on the nose, with delicate hints of fresh porcini, milled white pepper and dried herbs, but then pure notes of steeped apricot and raspberry fruit appear on the creamy palate. Delivering chamomile and honeycomb accents, this is fresh and well-spiced on the lingering finish. Sauvignon Blanc. Drink now through 2026. Tasted May 31, 2023.
The 2021 Amphora is pure Sauvignon Blanc aged for eight months in clay amphora. It has an attractive nose with yellow fruit and pressed flowers, though you could argue there is less in the way of varietal typicity. The palate is well balanced with a slightly honeyed texture, almond and vanillary notes, slight oxidative notes lending complexity on the finish. Very fine. Tasted August 2022.
Pairing: Oyster, clams, lobster, crab, prawns (especially garlic prawns), and scallops all make for wonderful food pairings with this wine. Of course, white fish as a pairing also works beautifully. Cod, Sea Bass, Sole, Halibut are all great protein options, and we recommend using preparations that include lightly seasoned baked/as papillote/fried/sautéed recipes with an element of herb butter or citrus. Sauvignon Blanc’s in general can pair beautifully with a whole range of salads from fruit salads to grain-based ones, like tabbouleh. As long as it’s packed with fresh herbs and greens, avocado, mango, papaya, fresh tomato, or grilled red peppers, there’s a good chance it will be spectacular with your bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, including this one!
Halibut With Brown Butter, Lemon and Sage
By David Tanis
About. Many thanks to importer, Skurnik Wines & Spirits, for the following details. Originally founded in 2001, Gabriëlskloof was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for South African businessman Bernhard Heyns. Local farmer and grape grower Barry Anderson had heard of Heyns’ search for a suitable site for his winery and agreed to meet him at a farm just outside the town of Bot River in South Africa’s Walker Bay region. Like many farming sites now converted into vineyards in the Swartland, its fields had previously been planted to wheat and canola, but the two men both saw incredible potential in its location and exposure. Almost twenty years later, the winery remains family-owned and operated.
The vision at Gabriëlskloof is to produce fine wines that reflect the complexity, richness and diversity of their unique terroir. They strive to do this in the most environmentally friendly way possible, showing respect for their region’s biodiversity at all times.
Their soils do not allow for high yields and all the vineyards on the property have been tended to with the utmost care since day one. All vineyard work is done by hand and sustainability takes precedence in every decision made in the vineyard.
Head winemaker Peter-Allan Finlayson is the son of legendary winemaker Peter Finlayson of Bouchard Finlayson and is an accomplished winemaker in his own right thanks to Crystallum, which focuses on single vineyard expressions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. At Gabriëlskloof, he endeavors to produce sustainably farmed wines with minimal intervention in the cellar that capture the sunshine and cold Atlantic breezes which exemplify Walker Bay. Increasingly important to many wineries in South Africa, Gabriëlskloof also places great emphasis on running an ethical business that both fairly employs and uplifts the surrounding community.
Heavily influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, Walker Bay is a cool-climate grape growing region located on the Western Cape’s southern coast. Despite being best known for Burgundian-leaning Chardonnay and Pinot Noir production, Sauvignon Blanc is also widely planted here and the region is considered to produce some of South Africa’s top bottlings. The Bot River subregion which Gabriëlskloof calls home is defined by a similar climate and terroir as the rest of Walker Bay, but it’s inland location allows for more seamless ripening and the planting of varieties such as Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.
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