With our Southern Right 2014 Sauvignon blanc now well into the market, Southern Right is celebrating 20 years of making one Sauvignon blanc and one Pinotage in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, just behind the seaside village of Hermanus.
Over the years, Southern Right has developed a reputation for more “classic” styling than usual for the New World and our goal has been to produce wines with a vibrant mineral tension, bright natural acidity and generally lower alcohol levels.
Southern Right Sauvignon blanc – 4 times a “Top Value” South African Wine in the Wine Spectator; “Best of Tasting” (of South African Sauvignon blanc) in the Wall Street Journal; one of top Whole Foods buyer’s “7 best value wines”.
“Offers a chiseled feel, with fleur de del and flint notes running along the edges of the gooseberry and white peach core” – James Molesworth, Wine Spectator
Sauvignon blanc can suffer from a lack of complexity and at Southern Right we overcome this by assembling the wine from numerous components. We want to avoid higher alcohol and/or residual sugar as a means of achieving palate weight. We use grapes from up to 17 different parcels in the Walker Bay district and Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, from 5 different clones, picked at multiple ripeness levels, with the aim of the final blend coming in at just under 13% Alcohol. We use up to 5 different yeasts – some for aroma and some for texture – and we blend wines made from 2 very different soil structural classifications. Light structured sandstone-derived soils make up approximately 50% of the blend and contribute a nervous tension and lifted varietal character (more methoxypyrazines), while stony, extremely clay-rich shale-derived soils make up the other approximately 50% of the blend and contribute a fatter, richer character which fills out the mid-palate and provides structure (more Thiols).
Southern Right Pinotage – Has been 90 Points or above in the Wine Spectator, Robert Parker, the Wine Enthusiast, Steve Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar and Anthony Dias Blue’s Reviews. “Best New World Red”, Steven Spurrier, Decanter.
“It is one of those Pinotages you might serve to a skeptic to change their preconception” – Neal Martin, Wine Advocate
Southern Right’s founding mission was to “redefine Pinotage”, and many people locally and internationally believe that this has been successful. Our Pinotage is very much not the high alcohol, low acid, soft, sweet, round, full style. We aim for a bright mineral tension and purity, with fine-grained “European” tannins and structure – and of course age-worthiness. All grapes are sourced from our own vineyards on stony, extremely clay-rich Bokkeveld Shale-derived soils in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Over the years we have been slowly reducing the influence of wood in all but its very important role in air-exchange. Our (all French oak) barrels have been tailored for our Pinotage and we have been using a higher percentage of un-toasted wood and a lower percentage of new wood. We are particularly careful not to overcrop our vineyards and methodically thin bunches to ensure this. In blind tastings, trained palates are almost invariably unable to place Southern Right Pinotage – either what country it is from, or what grape it is from. It is simply a different and worthy expression of a grape we really believe in.
Thank you for all your years of support and we hope to see you on Southern Right soon. All the best!