Hannes Storm 'Wild Air' Sauvignon Blanc, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, South Africa 2016

Wild Air Sauvignon Blanc.jpg
Wild Air Sauvignon Blanc.jpg

Hannes Storm 'Wild Air' Sauvignon Blanc, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, South Africa 2016


If you like your Sauvignon Blanc exuberant and explosively fruity, then this definitely isn't the wine for you. But if you like it dry and minerally, then allow us to introduce you to Hannes Storm's spell-binding new release, the 'Wild Air' Sauvignon Blanc 2016. It's a wine that bristles so much potential energy that it could power a small town. It’s a scintillating wine that invites you to explore its complexities, instead of hitting you in the face like a gooseberry pie. The acidity is whip-cracking and snappy, but there's more than enough ripe and succulent fruit to stand nose to nose with it, so it's like biting into the perfect Cox's Orange Pippin. Go away and drink it chilled with a plate of fresh oysters and you will be a lot happier than you are right now, reading this rambling tasting note. 12.5% alc. Drink now-2020.

Background Info:

Wild Air is the product of a collaboration between Hannes Storm, of Storm Wines fame, and his UK agent, Ben Henshaw. While visiting Hannes in South Africa, Ben was blown away by the beauty and potential of the Moya’s vineyard in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley (source of Hannes’ superb Moya’s Pinot Noir). Most of the vineyard is planted with Pinot, but Hannes knew of a small section of 20-year-old Sauvignon Blanc vines, quite unusual for the region, growing on low- vigour, stony, clay-rich shale soils. Inspired by the more restrained, textural styles of Sauvignon Blanc rarely made in South Africa, they set about crafting this first vintage of Wild Air.

Hannes took a very hands-off approach to the winemaking, using a basket press, fermenting with natural yeasts, mostly in older 228-litre French oak and a small part in tank. The wine rests on the lees for 6 months and a quarter of it completes full malolactic fermentation. The result is a savoury, mineral and food-friendly style of Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a true testament to the quality of the fruit and to Hannes’ gentle and confident winemaking style. Only 1500 bottles were filled.

Press Reviews:

Jamie Goode: "I was really impressed by this South African Sauvignon. Really textural and fresh with nice weight to the lemony fruit with fine spices and a touch of grapefruit, as well as a hint of fennel. It’s a paradox of a wine with richness and freshness at the same time. Lovely acidity." 93 points

Jancis Robinson.com (Tamlyn Currin): "Smells of green coriander leaf and seed. Lots of tender green herbs on the palate with a creaminess in the very centre. High acidity, intensely citric bones. There is a green bell-pepper bite on the end. Elegant, discreet – so very unlike most shouty New World Sauvignons. Drink 2017-2019." 16.5 points

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Farming: organic (uncertified)