Sauvignon Blanc, The Misunderstood Mistress

Let’s face it: Sauvignon blanc is the Anne Hathaway of wines. There are very winos who would admit they are fans and when they do (under duress) they are adamant they can only stomach her when she’s at her best.

And it seems to be an international affliction.

Sauvignon Blanc has been called “cat piss on a gooseberry tree”, a mixture of cat piss and armpit sweat, and even just plain ol’ pipi du chat. Not exactly complimentary. And while Sauvignon Blanc has a historically bad reputation based on the wine itself, while it’s fans remain an anomaly to snobby wine drinkers and sommeliers, who can’t seem to decide if they want to throw them in jail, off a cliff or into the zoo.

But I am here as a proud enjoyer of Sauvignon Blanc, a self-declared drinker-not-taster, a mom who wines. Yes, I am the quintessential Sauvignon Blanc drinker, and I’m not sorry. I’m always a fan of the underdog and I foresee the day us Sauvignon Blanc drinkers have our own hashtag and movement to defend us from discrimination.

But before I get to all that, I am happy to announce that I am the new official Sauvignon Blanc taster and correspondent for Well Red Wine Magazine. I will be sharing with you my (totally unprofessional) opinions on all the Sauvignon Blancs I get to enjoy (probably because no one else wanted to).

So without further ado…

Oak Valley Fountain of Youth 2020 (R100)

Oak Valley, as you probably know, is in Elgin, a place close to my heart. So close to Cape Town yet it seems like another world. It’s easy to fall in love with the apple orchards, the laidback vibes and, of course, the sauvignon blancs there.

The Fountain of Youth is a light, minerally sauvignon blanc, appropriate for a cool climate wine. It is clean and fresh, with hints of granadilla and gooseberries. It was delicious in the afternoon sun and even though I was in Barrydale I knew immediately it was a classic Elgin sauvignon blanc. Named after a freshwater spring used to irrigate the vineyards, I quite like the idea of drinking a wine to keep me young.

Strandveld Pofadderbos 2020 (R160)

Going a little further afield, the Strandveld Pofadderbos Sauvignon Blanc hails from Elim, near Stanford. It’s fruity and quite intense, with flavours of blackcurrant and granadilla. It’s bigger than the Oak Valley and while it was tasty as a sundowner it would go well with a good sushi platter. Interestingly, it’s named after the many snake residents in the area and so, not surprisingly, it paired beautifully with one of my 4-year old’s classic tantrums.

Daschbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2020 (R90)

A definite winner in my books! The Daschbosch is floral, light and lovely. It has the usual grass and asparagus of Sauvignon Blancs but it is quite perfumed, which is enjoyable. Light and carefree, it is a superb wine to take your mind off the more serious things in life.

Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Being a suburban wine farm, Steenberg is another one of my faves – not least because their restaurants are fab, there’s a grass patch for the kids to run around on, and there’s a spa!

The wine itself is good. Another minerally Sauvignon Blanc, with hints of grass and elderflower, but not as light as the Oak Valley. As is Steenberg itself, this Sauvignon Blanc is definitely good for sunny Friday afternoon vibes, both with snacks or solo.

Diemersdal ‘The Journal’ Sauvignon Blanc 2020 (R225)

Ah, the Sauvignon Blanc that’s not really a Sauvignon Blanc. The Diemersdal is buttery, rich and full. It’s a wooded, so this isn’t really surprising, and it’s a much more serious wine. Notes of fynbos, cassis and tropical flavours underpinned by notes of vanilla. This is a Sauvignon Blanc more suited to people who don’t drink sauvignon blanc, or when you feel you need to prove you can drink serious wine! Also comes with a more serious price tag!

Kirsten Nel

Kirsten Nel

Kirsten Nel is a writer, editor, teacher and lover of words. She is mom to two chaotic young boys who drive her to drink on a daily basis. When she is not behind her laptop or reading the same bedtime story 52 times, she can be usually be found hiding somewhere enjoying a glass of wine. For more exciting tales of parenthood, you can follow her at or @thebirdthebeard.

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