Downes Sanctuary Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2016
::Known as Downes Family Wines in the U.S. and Shannon Family Wines in South Africa::
The focus of this wine is based on a vineyard component arising from low yielding Table Mountain Sandstone soils. Using neutral yeasts, Shannon Sauvignon Blanc expresses very distinctive and concentrated primary fruit aromas of asparagus, citrus, and some capsicum in a minerally and flinty style. The clay/shale soils however, provide the Sauvignon with flavours on the riper side of the fruit spectrum and with more structure for a broader palate. The blending in of naturally fermented Semillon, matured on the lees, provides a fuller mouth feel and adds to the complexity of the wine. This wine was vinified in a style that enhances the aging potential of Sauvignon Blanc.
89 pts Robert Parker Jr.’s The Wine Advocate (NM)
The 2016 Sanctuary Peak Sauvignon Blanc is blended with barrel fermented 6% Semillon, the Sauvignon in 50% new oak. It has a crisp green apple, kiwi fruit and peach skin scented bouquet (the latter probably originating from the Semillon). The palate is well balanced with light crisp green fruit, touches of orange zest with a lively and attractive finish.
88 pts Wine Enthusiast
The grapes are chilled to 3ºC. The bunches are sorted on a conveyor, de-stemmed and crushed. All transfers of grape must and juice in these early stages are attained using gravity. Selected parcels of the grapes undergo a period of skin contact, at 8ºC to encapture favorable skin flavors. After a gentle pressing, the juice left to settle for a period of 72 hours at 2ºC. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks continues at 12ºC until the wine is dry. The 11% blended Semillon is fermented on natural yeasts and matured for 3 months in 100% new French oak and bâtonnage (lees stirring) practiced fortnightly.