The White Knight 2011 pays tribute to Sir Lancelot, the bravest of all the knights in King Arthur’s court. While medieval writers concur that Lancelot was a noble and loyal servant to his king, he also had an adulterous affair with King Arthur’s wife, Guinevere. In much the same way, this wine is pure in thought and deed, but does stray from the path slightly due to the main component, Sauvignon Blanc, having an affair with a bit of Semillon. While Sir Lancelot formed part of the grail quest, his veering from the straight-and-narrow path ultimately only allowed him a glimpse of the holy grail, but it did cure his madness. When Lancelot returns to Camelot, he finds that Guinevere had joined a nunnery to atone for her deeds, and Lancelot retires to a hermitage to live out the rest of his life in penitence for his sins of being an adulterer, and becoming a man minded of earthly honours.
Would the White Knight have been a better servant to his king if he did not have an affair with Guinevere?
Would this Sauvignon Blanc have been better if it did not have a fling with a bit of Semillon?
You be the ultimate judge, while we continue on our crusade to find our own holy grail.
WINEMAKING AND TECHNICAL MATTERS
A full and fruit-driven white blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon that lingers on the palate.
Wine of Origin: Coastal Region
Origin of Grapes: Darling
Blend: 90% Sauvignon Blanc / 10% Semillon
Alcohol: 13.89% (14% on label)
Total production: 2 500 bottles
Price: R65 per bottle
Background and Description:
The Sauvignon Blanc grapes were picked mid-February 2011 and transported to the Hidden Valley Winery in Stellenbosch, where the bunches were crushed and destalked. The juice was pumped into a stainless steel tank and allowed to settle. After 24 hours the juice was racked to another tank, all the while taking precaution that the juice did not come into contact with oxygen, so as to ensure that the juice remained fresh. The Sauvignon Blanc juice was innoculated with yeast and fermentation allowed to take place at a cool temperature. The Semillon component was naturally fermented in a third-fill oak barrel. After fermentation both the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon were kept on its lees for six months, and the lees stirred regularly to ensure that the wine has a rounded texture and mouthfeel. The two components were blended, filtered, cold stabilised and bottled in September 2011.
Description of the wine: The 2011 White Knight is a dry, yet full-bodied white wine packed with an abundance of fruit on the nose, including peach, citrus, gooseberry and nectarine. On the palate the wine has complex layers of flavour, with a crisp and lengthy finish.
Food pairing: Ideal drinking on its own, but also great with summer salads, fresh black figs, runny cheeses like Camembert & Brie, and lighter styled dishes such as seafood and pasta.
Maturation potential: Drinking well now but will reward another year or two of cellaring (ideal drinking from 2012 to 2014).