At under R50 and on a winning streak, Alexanderfontein Old Block Sauvignon deserves big thumbs-up this summer

•  Gold Medal at 2014 Michelangelo Awards, SA
•  Gold Medal at 2014 Veritas Awards, SA
•  Gold Medal at 2014 Decanter Awards, UK
•  Winner at 2013 Top 10 Competition, SA
•  Signature variety of the district of Darling

ALEXANDERFONTEIN’S Chip off the Old Block Sauvignon Blanc from the Ormonde Private Cellar is a mouthful alright… One of several tiers of quality and style from a pioneer of winemaking in Darling, The Old Block is different from the Basson family’s ‘standard’ Alexanderfontein Sauvignon Blanc. It might cost the same at the cellar door – R49 a bottle for the 2014 vintage – but the grapes come from a single vineyard comprising some of the oldest plantings on the farm, the packaging includes a cork closure instead of the more familiar screwcap, plus…
 
The Old Block is 100% Darling, whereas the ‘standard’ is WO Coastal (some of the grapes come from elsewhere). And according to the producers, whereas the aromas of both wines typically include some gooseberry and green fig, the ‘standard’ can present with some white peach in the mix while The Old Block 2014 shows hints of capsicum. Unpretentious pleasure. Good now to 2016.
 
The Chip off the Old Block Sauvignon Blanc was introduced after over a decade of success with the ‘standard’ Alexanderfontein Sauvignon and, more recently, with the Ondine and flagship Ormonde versions. Two vintages later and full marks for achieving what they set out to do here.