This really shouldn’t happen. I posted 3, three, THREE weeks ago about a South African Sauvignon Blanc tasting I was in the middle of. That night , some friends came round and relieved me of a few of the 90+% full bottles that I’d been sampling. But there were still several bottles hanging around which I hadn’t disposed of thoughtfully – that’s right, I just don’t have enough friends…
Anyway, on return from France, brown and bruised (from overexerting myself on the Jungle Adventure parcours at a ski resort called Les Orres), they were still sitting there in the kitchen. Oh well, in for a penny and all that. So I tried one. And another. And another. And gadzooks, ods bodikins and all the rest, they were still astonishingly fresh. Some of them were actually better than when I first tried them over a fortnight earlier. What’s more, there were a couple of older bottles from the excellent Cape Point vineyard in, er, Cape Point (over the hill from Constantia, imported by Yeo & Co), the 2001 and 2003, which had been sitting by the window where they would have had three hours of sun on those days in the last half of August when the sun actually shone. They should have been dead, but no, they were still wonderfully alive and zesty.
Does this mean that I’m going to recommend opening bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and decanting them a couple of days before serving? No, but it does seem to indicate that all those who put Sauvignon in the DYA – drink youngest available – category may not be 100% right. After all, good Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé can cope with bottle age, so why not Cape Sauvignon?
Look out for the picks from the tasting in my piece of Cape Sauvignon in a forthcoming issue of Decanter magazine.