‘The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.’ If that quote could be applied to just one winemaker, it would be André van Rensburg. Never one for mediocracy, he has, over the years, often been accused of being obsessive in the pursuit of his vinous vision and so the madman image has stuck with him for nearly thirty years. Frequently misunderstood, some might say that he suffers a personality disorder, particularly when, in conversation, expletives abound. Opinionated in the extreme, he remains, without exception, respected by his industry peers.
André van Rensburg,
Artisan Wines Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2021
Bottle size: 750 ml,
In The Cellar
This first white release is produced from what is without doubt AvR’s signature white grape variety: Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a serious barrel-fermented complex example, supported by a small proportion of Semillon.
This is a very serious barrel-fermented example in the style of top white Bordeaux expressions that is approachable now but will undoubtedly benefit from further maturation of up to a decade or more in the cellar. In the glass, the aromatics are packed with apple blossom, ruby grapefruit, citrus lemon, crunchy green apple, savoury gooseberry, fresh dill and tantalising touches of lemongrass and tangerine peel. But it’s on the palate where the true class and pedigree of Andre’s winemaking is revealed, boasting a concentrated, energy packed mouthful bursting with tangy gooseberry, lemon oil, crystallised ginger and lemongrass spice underpinned by a dusty, granitic crushed gravel minerality. The texture is super compact and dense, glycerol and mouth coating with just the most subtle hints of vanilla oak spice, a lick of lanolin, lime leaf and a spine-tingling acidity on the finish. This is certainly one of the finest Sauvignon - Semillon blends I have tasted in the past several years. Chapeau Andre! (Wine Safari Score: 96/100 Greg Sherwood MW)