2010 Seven Springs Sauvignon Blanc, Overberg, South Africa
A first, small vintage – only 4400 bottles – from vines planted in 2007 by Tim Pearson, whose day job is MD of his Warwickshire (UK) cleaning company. The vineyard – 12 hectares but not all planted yet – is at the foot of Shaws Mountain, 20km from Hermanus in Walker Bay, and the debut 2010 sauvignon is zesty and vivacious, with greengage and apricot fruit, a lightly textured mid-palate and a dry, bright finish with just a hint of minerality. Not complex, but a really enjoyable, reviving glass of wine and, with age, the vines should produce tighter, more concentrated, perhaps more mineral-tasting wines. 13.5% abv. A chardonnay, syrah and pinot noir are all in the pipeline.
£9.95–£10.14, barwines.co.uk, proteaswines.co.uk, underwoodwines.co.uk; 7springs.co.za
2006 Château Civrac, Côtes de Bourg, Bordeaux
It wasn’t intentional but there’s a bit of an ex-pat theme this week: Civrac belongs to Cornishman Mark Hellyar. The 2006 is nicely meaty and supple – richer and more succulent than the 2007 – and has perfumy, sweet fruit, subtly toasty oak and a convincing, earthy-mineral undertow. It’s half merlot and 25% each malbec and cabernet sauvignon. Olivier Dauga is the consultant. All in all, a very good, modern but authentic Bordeaux. 13% abv.
£15, civrac.com, and other stockists as listed on the website
2008 Taste the Difference Douro, Portugal
There’s nothing new about this. It’s here as a reminder that it’s a useful, good-value red – a stalwart of Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference range. Smoky and meaty with warm, ripe black fruit on the the nose; pepper, blackberries and woodsmoke on the palate; medium-full with softly grainy tannins and a satisyingly dry finish. 13.5% abv.