Summer - 2020 by Samarie Smith
Let us drink to another stellar wine joining the Harry Hartman repertoire. This time with a wine that celebrates Summer, the label alone will make you pick up the bottle and slowly turn it to enjoy the swallows flying into the picture. The textured label is also a subtle hint to the wild fermented style of Sauvignon Blanc, which will already trigger the imagination and expectation of something a little different. Sourced from the Cape South Coast, there is a brightness to the fruit, indicating a cooler climate. The wine is nuanced with a peppery character, white tea, lemongrass notes, and lovely citrus aromas. Freshly poured, the wine paints a picture of a basket filled with freshly picked kiwi and yellow plums. The fruit is clean and welcoming, backed with a perpetual herbaceous note that blows off as the wine evolves in your glass, leaving a more delicate floral perfume. Gastronomists will also enjoy the pleasant austerity that introduces layers of almond skin and forest floor.
Upon tasting the wine, that almond skin character persists with a briny texture and taut acidity leaping over your palate. Reminiscent of the label that served as the wine's first introduction, it's also got the lightness of morning mist precipitating on wet soil. Don't expect pronounced tropical fruit, but revel in its salt-specked character that would make a perfect pairing with white chocolate, ushering the shy fruit to the fore. A wild ferment often invites unusual aromas, toning the pungent lemongrass aromas with hints of spice and a creamy note of old-fashioned lemon candy. Less intervention elevated this wine, and it exudes the same energy of the bird on its label, inviting you to languish in its uninhibited nature.
Colour and intensity: medium lemon
Medium+ intensity Primary aromas: white pear, elderflower, chamomile, white flesh nectarine, green passion fruit, lemongrass, bay leaf, white pepper, green olives, grass sprouts. Secondary: cheese rind, almond skin, dried thyme, wet soil, and forest floor. Tertiary: none, the wine is youthful.
The wine has a medium-plus acidity, medium alcohol leaning over to the higher side, medium body, and medium flavour intensity. The same aromas on the nose are repeated on the palate, albeit more muted, with a more piercing lemony character and pithy aftertaste for a medium-plus finish. The piercing acidity is met with equally sturdy alcohol, although neither are out of kilter but balancing each other to help create the backbone of this wine. The wine's length is built with cool and refreshing aromas poised on a textural, briny palate. The wine has a medium intensity, quite vivid on the nose but more austere in its youth on the palate. The same goes for concentration. It is timid compared to more pronounced Sauvignon Blancs, but the wine will certainly tick the boxes as a food companion if the intent was a more restrained and textured wine. Be sure to serve an antipasti platter to compliment this wine. Or, if you want to go all out, serve it up with a clam, roast tomato, and dry martini risotto.
Origin: Elgin & Botrivier
100% Sauvignon Blanc wild ferment
A portion of grapes comes from Elgin and the rest from the Botrivier region. Elgin fruit has a higher level of acidity adding to the more citrus notes and making the wine more linear. Botrivier fruit is more rounded, with bigger tropical notes.
Naturally fermented separately in stainless steel tanks. Stirring of lees only during the first 6 to 8 months.