The Boplaas wines singled out were the 2020 Bobbejaanberg Sauvignon Blanc Family Reserve, made from vines at the very edge of the Cape’s traditional winelands; and, the 2015 Block 1932 Hanepoot, whose old riverside vineyard has resolutely withstood droughts and floods over multiple decades.
The 2020 Boplaas Bobbejaanberg Sauvignon Blanc Family Reserve hails from the designated ward of Outeniqua Mountains and is produced from a single vineyard. This secluded block thrives in soils of decomposed sandstone, at an elevation over 650m above sea level. Its name refers its location among the peaks as well as a band of marauding baboons that often raid the vineyards for its tasty fruit. In essence however, the Bobbejaanberg is testament to Sauvignon Blanc’s fickle, terroir-specific nature.
The wine’s fruit is hand harvested at optimal ripeness in the cool morning hours, and hastily trucked to the winery in Calitzdorp. It is crushed and allowed a period of skin contact prior to a gentle pressing, with only the free-run juice cold-fermented in stainless steel tanks. The liquid then undergoes a period of lees contact prior to bottling, with very light filtration. The result is a wine that exudes aromas of lime leaf, subtle white peach, lemon grass, sugar snap pea, capsicum, and green asparagus. It has a svelte palate with oyster shell minerality, bright acidity and a fynbos finish that adds to the intrigue.
Fellow terroir award-winner, the 2015 Boplaas Block 1932 Hanepoot, is made from a low-yielding single vineyard of Hanepoot grapes along the banks of the Gamka River in Calitzdorp. It was planted by Tom Brink in 1932.
The wine is a true hidden gem of fortified muscats. In the glass, it has a bright lemon-yellow colour with lime-tinged rim. The bouquet leaps from the glass, revealing intense ripe Hanepoot aromas with pineapple, lemon rind, litchi and winter melon intermingled with hints of jasmine, honey suckle and faint spicy notes. A lusciously sweet, mouth-watering palate is crammed with fresh sultana, honey, litchi, melon, fig leaf, lemon and lime marmalade undercurrents. Together, they’re buoyed by zippy acidity and lingering hints of citrus rind and subtle minerality.
Due to the small volumes of the wines produced by these vineyards, they are only available at few locations. These include the winery in Calitzdorp; Boplaas tasting centre at Klipheuwel Farm in Klein Brak River on the Garden Route; and, via the Boplaas online shop, www.boplaas.co.za, where free delivery is available to orders over R1 500 in value.