2009 Ataraxia Sauvignon Blanc Western Cape

SKU #1069894

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Mar/Apr 11: "Pale bright yellow. Very subtle nose combines grapefruit pith, citrus peel, pepper and crushed stone, plus a whiff of tropical fruits. Rich, bright, ripe and deep, with lemon, grapefruit and mineral flavors enlivened by wild herbs and mint. This really coats the mouth without leaving any impression of weight. Finishes suave and long, with terrific grip. Seriously good sauvignon." 90 points Wine Spectator: "This has subtle weight, with lemon verbena, wet straw and chamomile notes offset by lingering gooseberry notes. Nice buried minerality stretches out the finish. Very solid. Drink now." (09/11)

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By: Chiara Shannon |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 9/7/2011  | Send Email
Ataraxia (Greek for "tranquility") is a term used by Pyrrho and Epicurus for a lucid state, characterized by freedom from worry or any other preoccupation. The next time you find yourself seeking a wine to complement your moment of relaxation - be it watching the sun set at the beach, walking through the garden, sunning by the pool, or cocktails on the dock, you will find this invigorating and complex Sauvignon Blanc to be a worthy companion. No pungent herbaceous notes here- this wine smells of meyer lemons and apples, with accents of flint and white pepper. The palate is round and deep, with juicy acids that lead to a persistent and mouthwatering finish. Cheers!

By: John Majeski |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 8/30/2011  | Send Email
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Situated on 125 acres of some of the most stunning elevations in Walker Bay, these vineyards are planted in billion year old granite and weathered shale soils exposed to the cooling breezes of the nearby South Atlantic. The result is a Sauvignon Blanc of terrific purity and finesse, with subtle flavors of grapefruit, lemon zest, melon and fleshy gooseberry interwoven upon the palate, finishing with a fine thread of green tea and minerality.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Sauvignon Blanc

- One of the best known "international" varieties originally cultivated in France and considered the parent of, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauvignon's wonderfully distinctive aromatics generate some of wine's most colorful descriptors, among them "cat pee," herbaceous, grassy, citrusy the world over. In France, the apex of Sauvignon Blanc production is the Loire Valley, in the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where the terroir expresses itself most beautifully through the grape. Sauvignon Blanc is also the leading white grape varietal in Bordeaux, where it is paired with the fatter, richer Sémillon to varying degrees. Relatively easy to cultivate, though more suited to cool climates, Sauvignon Blanc has made inroads in Europe outside of France, especially in Northeastern Italy's Friuli and Alto Adige, but also on the Slovenian border. These lovely wines are often overshadowed by Sauvignon Blanc's achievements in the New World, namely New Zealand, South Africa and California. New Zealand's Sauvignon Blancs, more conspicuously fruity than most French examples, landed the small island nation on the world wine map in the late-1980s and 1990s. South African Sauvignons are one of the most successful international varieties produced in that country and are often quite elegant and affordable. In California, Robert Mondavi managed to, almost single-handedly, created a market for Sauvignon Blanc by renaming his oak-fermented version Fumé Blanc. While some wineries still use the name, California Sauvignon Blanc has secured its place in the California wine pantheon, particularly those from the Napa Valley. Washington State, Chile and Argentina also have considerable plantings of the grape.
Country:

South Africa

- Now that it has adopted a multi-racial attitude, and now that the world has embraced its government and its exports, South Africa has become a major wine producer. Unfortunately, South Africa has had a difficult time joining the ranks of competitive winemaking countries. During the anti-apartheid sanctions in the 1980s, South African wine was dealt the huge blow when it was removed from the international market, and for political reasons it was quite difficult for wine producers to market wine to the black majority. Things are finally looking up for the wine industry here, and quality has never been higher. South Africa produces a grape cloned from Pinot Noir and Cinsault, called Pinotage, which is the country's unique varietal. Chenin Blanc (known as Steen) makes up one-third of its vines. Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are becoming increasingly popular as are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Click for a list of bestselling items from South Africa.