If you try different wines, you are bound to figure out which wine you like! My brother and his wife left me a couple of bottles of wine from the Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate after their last visit. I have been meaning to visit this wine estate in Walker Bay, Hermanus, for the last decade. The Benguela Cove Sauvignon Blanc 2015, was released in April 2016 and the wine bottle, with white label, completed by the ‘premium gold foil embossed design’ looks quite elegant and appealing to the eye.
I usually like silence when I taste the wine for sharing tasting notes and my experience, so it was not an option to do this while we were festive, sipping on the wine whilst my brother was around. On the day that the Cape Town Cycle Tour was abandoned due to heavy Gail force winds on 12th March 2017, I figured a braai and a bottle of the Benguela Cove Sauvignon Blanc 2015 would pair well for sharing with you. I got the fire for the braai going and then went inside the house to pour the wine and avoid the wind, which had arrived on my side of the mountain by the afternoon.
The wine looked a pale platinum shade, almost clear, and a classic colour for cool climate wines. Relative to the regions of wine I taste, the Atlantic Ocean and the cold Benguela Current make for a very different climate to what I am accustomed to in the valleys of Constantia and Stellenbosch.
I will be honest, ordinarily I would have been put off by the colour. The nose left no doubt in my mind that I was drinking a Sauvignon Blanc, yet it was surprisingly fruity. It was not at all consistent with the colour of the wine in the glass. I picked up tropical fruits, which feels like a contradiction given I associate tropical fruit with a warm climate, while the position of this wine region is in one of our cooler climates. It had a fresh nose, and was teasing enough for me to want to get on with it and sip!
Then the sip… It was slightly acidic, but not heavily so. This was to be expected of a Sauvignon Blanc, but remember that the fruity nose had created a different expectation for my taste buds. After the first sip, which was slightly racy and crisp, it was a consistent wine sip after sip. I would not call it a complex wine in structure. It is a light easy drink, but where I would call it complex is in the roller coaster ride I experienced from experiencing seeing the colour, to nosing the wine and then sipping it. In that sense the wine had many dimensions and demonstrated complexity.
I have good days and I have bad days with a Sauvignon Blanc wine, and this was a good day. On the braai, I made beef boerewors and some lamb chops seasoned with dried oregano flakes, chopped fresh basil, three cloves of garlic (crushed), sliced celery and three teaspoons of Olive Oil. You read that right, no salt, and the pairing was fantastic. It’s an easy drinking wine which is good on its own and goes well with herb infused red meat from the braai.
The Benguela Cove Sauvignon Blanc was a HIT for me. At R95-00 a bottle on their website, if you buy by the case, it makes it a Category C wine. If you order it from wine.co.za you can get the same bottle for R110 per bottle, making it a Category B wine. It shows you how fickle these categories and wine classification can be doesn’t it? If you are not familiar with my Categories, read my blog post on the Thelema Sauvignon Blanc.