Durbanville Hills’ The Tangram White Blend 2018 has been awarded as one of the world’s 12 top-scoring wines at the 2021’s Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters hosted by The Drinks Business.
With 200 Sauvignon Blancs from around the world, tasted blind, Durbanville Hills’ cool climate excellence shares the Top 12 recognition along with the very best Sauvignon Blancs produced in France, Chile, New Zealand and the USA.
Cellar master, Martin Moore, is overjoyed at the incredible achievement of the flagship classically styled blend with Sauvignon Blanc in the lead.
- “Back in 1999, during our first harvest, I had the vision of one day crafting a top-end blend, one that would showcase our unique location with its close proximity to the ocean and cooling sea breezes, valleys enclosed by hills offering slopes of varying altitudes, rich soils with excellent water retention, and a cool-climate with a distinctive microclimate.”
- “But we realised at the time that we were embarking on a long-term project. We would need to expand our knowledge, allow our vineyards to mature and adapt our cellar if we wanted to realise our objective. To this end we created a small cellar at Durbanville Hills a few years ago dedicated to the making of truly hand-crafted wines where each component of the The Tangram White Blend 2018 was gently handled. Achieving a Top 12 global award, has definitely made the wait and patience all that more gratifying.”
As with the Chinese seven-piece Tangram puzzle whereby one has to look at the whole to understand and form the myriad of images that can be shaped, The Tangram White Blend 2018 is greater than its parts. The wine is a blend of 76% Sauvignon Blanc and 24% Semillon, matured for 10 months in French oak and is made for long-term cellaring.
Although the Sauvignon Blanc grapes were harvested from three vineyard blocks on the southern slopes where the valley opens up towards the West Coast, the majority of grapes were selected from a 31-year-old bush vine ensuring the classical and mineral character of the wine. The two 16-year-old trellised vineyards situated higher up on the hill where the 180 to 200 meters above sea level allows exposure to the cool south easterly breezes from False Bay, imparted typical fruity aromas.
The Semillon block was planted in 1996 in the cool heart of the valley, where the vines are known to contribute fullness. Satellite technology was used to identify the premium spots in each block and only grapes from these spots were harvested.
To ensure gentle handling and only the best grapes were harvested, the winemakers hand-selected a dedicated grape picking team to harvest the grapes in the cool of the early morning.
In the cellar, the grapes were crushed and allowed to cold settle for three days, with lees stirring once a day. The clean juice was racked to a stainless-steel fermentation tank and inoculated with a selected yeast strain. The first 5˚B of fermentation was done in tank and thereafter transferred to barrels to complete fermentation. The wine was matured in a combination of new and old French oak barrels of varying sizes (300 litre, 500 litre and 600 litre) for a further 10 months to ensure a better extraction of the flavours and overall complexity. During maturation the wine was regularly stirred to add complexity to the blend. After maturation, the winemaking team spent a number of days selecting the best barrels to create the perfect blend.
The wine is brilliant lime green in colour with aromas of fresh citrus, orange blossom, summer berries and a mix bowl of fresh fruit combining effortlessly with hints of lime and minerality. Rich and creamy with concentrated complexity, sweet wood spice, tropical fruit and hints of melon, and minerality, the ending is lingering and fresh.