New TOKARA winemaker releases 1st Sauvignon Blanc vintage
Botha who joined the team at this prestigious Stellenbosch wine estate in 2017 after making award-winning wines in Constantia since 2007, completed his first harvest at TOKARA this year. He considers his appointment as head winemaker at TOKARA, which has been ranked amongst the World’s 50 Most Admired Wine Brands by UK-based Drinks International, as his biggest achievement yet.
The segue to this Stellenbosch estate owned by GT and Anne-Marie Ferreira was a natural progression for Botha whose love of Bordeaux winemaking culture began during harvests at the esteemed Chateau Bellefont Belcier and Chateau Trianon in Saint Emilion, France, at the start of his winemaking career.
Allowing the grapes to express their terroir, is the crux of his winemaking philosophy and is clearly evident in his maiden TOKARA Sauvignon Blanc 2018. A blend of fruit from prime TOKARA vineyards in Stellenbosch and Elgin, this vibrant wine represents an intriguing spectrum of the Sauvignon blanc flavour profile. Green melon, Granny Smith apple and subtle lemongrass, typical of the cooler Elgin site, meld seamlessly with tropical granadilla notes, more reminiscent of Stellenbosch Sauvignon blanc.
“The finish is refreshingly crisp with the acidity and concentrated fruit flavours in perfect balance. A slight oyster shell salinity makes this wine quite moreish,” says Botha, who recommends enjoying this Sauvignon Blanc on a hot summer’s day on its own or with grilled chicken, fish, and fresh oysters of course. “This wine can even hold its own with a light prawn curry,” he quips.
His winemaking style is guided by the knowledge that truly great wines express a unique sense of place. “They embody the vineyards where they come from and act as a looking glass into the soul of the site,” says Botha who achieves this honest expression through his approach of minimal intervention in the cellar.
“A bottle of wine encapsulates the vision, reality and circumstance of a particular place and time. It tells a great story if you take the time to listen,” he adds.
TOKARA Sauvignon Blanc 2018 is available at leading wine outlets countrywide and sells online or at the cellar door at R90 a bottle. For more information visit www.tokara.com.
Get it JHB West – October 2018