SBIG announces FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 finalists

SBIG announces FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 finalists
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The Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group of South Africa (SBIG), organisers of the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Competition, have just revealed the Top 20 wines in the countdown to the announcement of the ultimate Top 10 on 4 November 2011.

The competition, already in its 5th year and previously presented by Wine Magazine, this year harnessed support from FNB (First National Bank) as sponsor.

"We are extremely grateful to FNB who came on board to ensure that this competition could continue, and SBIG looks forward to working with FNB to ensure that South African Sauvignon Blanc gets the recognition it deserves, both locally and internationally," according to Erika Obermeyer, Chairperson of SBIG.

FNB Western Cape's Provincial Head, Stephan Claassen, believes that "FNB and the Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Competition is a natural match, as both aim to identify, and provide, the best quality products and services available in the marketplace. Through the sponsorship of this competition, FNB is a proud supporter of the wine industry and encourages the local and international development of this dynamic industry. This is further supported by our three year commitment to the competition, and developing a long term commercial relationship with the wine industry."

A total of 169 wines were entered and 27 (16%) secured a rating of 4 stars and above (41 wines, or 18%, achieved 4 stars and above at the 2010 competition). Entries included wines made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes, but also blends where Sauvignon Blanc represents a minimum of 85% of the blend.

The judging panel consisted of a broad range of wine specialists, including independent wine writer Christian Eedes (chairperson), restaurant beverage manager James Pietersen, Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group secretary Pieter de Waal, wine maker Louis Nel and independent wine writer Angela Lloyd. The wines were blind-tasted (with no indication of vintage, cellar treatment or technical analysis) and scoring done according to the 20-point system, with scores then converted to a star rating.

The Top 20 wines for 2011, as judged by the panel, are:
  • Bergsig [WHAT]? Woolworths Sauvignon Blanc 2011
  • Boschendal Reserve Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2011
  • Clos Malverne Sauvignon Blanc 2011
  • David Nieuwoudt Ghost Corner Sauvignon Blanc 2011
  • Delaire Coastal Cuvée 2011
  • Delaire Coastal Cuvée 2010
  • Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc 2011
  • Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Sauvignon Blanc Limited Release 2011
  • Franschhoek Cellar Sauvignon Blanc 2011
  • Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2010
  • KWV Cathedral Cellar Sauvignon Blanc 2011
  • Lutzville Cool Climate Sauvignon Blanc 2010
  • Neethlingshof Sauvignon Blanc 2011
  • Phizante Kraal Sauvignon Blanc 2011
  • Quoin Rock The Nicobar 2009
  • Rietvallei Classic Sauvignon Blanc 2011
  • Soulo Sauvignon Blanc 2011
  • Tokara Reserve Collection Elgin Sauvignon Blanc 2010
  • Vergelegen Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2011
  • Wade Bales Thys Louw Sauvignon Blanc 2011
SBIG Secretary and convenor of the competition, Pieter de Waal, states that "the Top 20 list includes wines at all price-points, from just under R30 to almost R200 per bottle, as well as both wooded and unwooded examples. There's definitely a Sauvignon Blanc in the Top 20 to meet each and every palate and pocket, and it reaffirms the fact that Sauvignon Blanc as a grape variety has the ability to bring out the best of the regional diversity to be found in the winelands of South Africa".

The Top 10 achievers will be announced on Friday 4 November at a luncheon to be held at Cellars-Hohenhort in the heart of the Constantia wine making valley. The inimitable Jörg Pfützner of Fine Wine Events, together with celebrated chef, Peter Tempelhoff, have been hard at work crafting a menu of tastes and treats to complement the depth and diversity on offer within the Top 20 wines.

A limited number of tickets, at R250 per ticket, are available to attend the award function, and can be reserved by contacting SBIG.

Any enquiries regarding the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Competition, can be directed to Pieter de Waal, SBIG, tel +27 (0)83 357 3864 or email

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