Springfield Life from Stone Sauvignon Blanc, Robertson 2013 is no longer available

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Springfield Life from Stone Sauvignon Blanc, Robertson 2013

White Wine from South Africa
Vibrant sauvignon from the Bruwer family in Robertson, its mineral streak enhanced by the quartz in the soil here.
is no longer available
Code: SA9361

Wine characteristics

  • White Wine
  • Bone dry
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • 12.5% Alcohol
  • No oak influence
  • Screwcap

South Africa

South Africa is undoubtedly one of the world's most dynamic wine producers. Established winemakers re-emerged onto the international scene in the early 1990s, following the demise of the apartheid era, and new wines, wineries, highly qualified winemakers, and even new regions have appeared steadily ever since. This makes South Africa more exciting than ever, but more complicated, too.

Most South African wines are varietally labelled - a key factor in any buying decision. Styles vary of course, and our notes aim to clarify this, but you will probably already know whether you like sauvignon blanc (now among the world's best), chardonnay, riesling, syrah, pinot noir, or cabernet.

South Africa's most famous grapes - white chenin blanc and red pinotage - will be less familiar unless you are already a convert. South African chenins are quite different from those in the Loire - almost always dry, but ripe and full of flavour (often with the complexity that comes from the increasingly...
South Africa is undoubtedly one of the world's most dynamic wine producers. Established winemakers re-emerged onto the international scene in the early 1990s, following the demise of the apartheid era, and new wines, wineries, highly qualified winemakers, and even new regions have appeared steadily ever since. This makes South Africa more exciting than ever, but more complicated, too.

Most South African wines are varietally labelled - a key factor in any buying decision. Styles vary of course, and our notes aim to clarify this, but you will probably already know whether you like sauvignon blanc (now among the world's best), chardonnay, riesling, syrah, pinot noir, or cabernet.

South Africa's most famous grapes - white chenin blanc and red pinotage - will be less familiar unless you are already a convert. South African chenins are quite different from those in the Loire - almost always dry, but ripe and full of flavour (often with the complexity that comes from the increasingly sought-after old-vine fruit and the use of oak). Pinotage, a South African creation, is for many a love-it-or-hate-it grape. Pinotage's 'parents' are pinot noir, which imparts its strawberry aromas and lovely texture in young wines, and more complex, farmyard characteristics in more mature examples, and cinsault, the southern French grape, which adds spice and body. It was developed in South Africa in 1926. Shiraz is now making a name for itself in South Africa with some superb examples bottled varietally and showing characteristics that often places it between the plush New World style pioneered by Australia and classic Rhône balance and elegance.

More significant in South Africa than much of the New World (notably New Zealand and Chile) are blends, which make selection more complicated, as the style of the wine is less easy to anticipate. As in Australia and California, however, many of the best wines here are blends - a sign of maturity in the industry. Bordeaux blends were favoured initially but there are increasing numbers of Rhône and southern French influenced blends, including some eclectic mixes, many of which are among South Africa’s best wines.

The Regions

The vineyards of South Africa are at a latitude of about 35o south, with hot, dry Mediterranean-type summers tempered by oceanic influences in the south, particularly the very cold Benguela Current. Much of the country is mountainous or hilly with a multitude of terroirs for winemakers to play with. Soils are ancient and complex, and many and varied from region to region, and even vineyard to vineyard. Rainfall is very varied from one area to another, largely depending which side of a mountain or range a vineyard lies on, and in some parts irrigation is essential.

South Africa’s rigorous Wine Of Origin scheme demarcates vineyard areas, including some single vineyards, and guarantees the geographical source of the wine much like the old French appellation contrôllée system recently renamed AOP, though there are no controls on yields and grape varieties as there are in France..

Bordeaux-style blends are one of the Stellenbosch region's great strengths. Wines such as Kanonkop's Paul Sauer, Meerlust's Rubicon and Warwick's Trilogy are South African icons, produced over many years, and with proven ageing capacity. The striking Simonsberg mountain names the ward (or area) most highly sought after for these reds, but Stellenbosch produces a wide range of wine styles, from excellent chenin blancs and sauvignons to robust pinotage and Cape Blends.

Paarl is its less-well-known neighbour, also warm, and best known for its robust but smooth reds. Franschhoek is understandably one of the most-visited towns in the Cape (with lots of French Huguenot history and some of the best restaurants in the region). It has a number of famous producers, most notably Boekenhoutskloof, but most do not produce exclusively from Franschhoek fruit. Cape Chamonix is an exception we rate highly, producing a wide range of wine styles from bubbly to cabernet franc led red blend Troika.

The generally warmer Swartland region has been at the forefront of the development of Rhône varietals in South Africa, led by stars such as Eben Sadie, as well as home to some of the best old chenin blanc vines. Further north, and much cooler is Citrusdal, where fresher styles are produced and chenin blanc can achieve real finesse.

The Cape peninsula, to the south of Cape Town itself, is home to Constantia, known for its cooler climate thanks to the influence of the two oceans that almost circle it. Here, sauvignon blanc and the Bordeaux grapes predominate, but there are lovely examples of aromatic varieties too, notably Klein Constantia's elegant riesling and its wonderful sweet muscat Vin de Constance, and the vibrant sauvignon blancs from Cape Point vineyards to the south. Rhône varietals are successful new additions.

Elgin, en route to Hermanus, is another very cool region, very much up-and-coming for sauvignon blanc, as is Elim, which is even further south and the source of our former Exhibition Sauvignon. Robertson is almost due north of Elim, but way inland and far hotter. A small number of family producers manage to make excellent sauvignon here, too, but it is also a good source of chardonnay, increasingly pinot noir, and elegantly styled pinotage and Rhône varietals, not forgetting the excellent fortified muskadels which are unique to the Cape.

The most important factor in deciding whether or not to buy is often the producer's name. This is easily achieved when some of the grandest 'old' names, such as Meerlust, Hamilton Russell, Kanonkop, and Klein Constantia, still rank among the country's best producers. Where it gets trickier is when the winery is new, has no track record, or the winemaker is not a household name.
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Springfield Estate

Long-term members' favourite, Springfield Estate lies in the beautiful Robertson valley, home to the highly successful Wacky Wine Weekend. It is owned by the Bruwer family, who first bottled under their own name in 1995. Abrie Bruwer makes a classically styled range of wines, specializing in Bordeaux varietals, sauvignon blanc in particular, and chardonnay. There are 150 hectares planted on a variety of soil types, a fishing lake to satisfy Abrie's other love, when he does not have time to go to the sea , and a welcoming tasting room and terrace, both with stunning views. Now Abrie's daughter Jenna helps his sister Jeanette with all things marketing, and other members of the next generation, Emma and Pieter, are studying and working hard, the better to ensure the future of this family estate.

South Africa Vintage 2013

A wet and cool winter set the grapes up for a smooth ride through to an earlier than average harvest in 2013. Temperate weather brought some rot concerns with it, but generally the fruit came in healthy and a big crop was harvested.

Pinotage performed particularly well, and reds are, by and large, concentrated and deeply coloured while whites are fruity and full of flavour. As was the case in 2012, Paarl and Stellenbosch did very well.

2013 vintage reviews
2012 vintage reviews
2011 vintage reviews

Wine-pages.com

How nice it is tomeet up with an old and dear friend, and so it is with the excellent SauvignonBlanc from the Bruwer family in South Africa's hot Roberston area. It's acouple of vintages since...
How nice it is tomeet up with an old and dear friend, and so it is with the excellent SauvignonBlanc from the Bruwer family in South Africa's hot Roberston area. It's acouple of vintages since I've tasted this wine, and yet it has always been ahuge favourite of mine, and had been for years when I visited the estate wayback in 2002 and saw the Life From Stone vineyard for myself, a rocky, barrenplace that lives up to its billing perfectly. Immediately vivacious and vibranton the nose, exotic fruit floods from the glass: mango and lychee, ripe nectarineand mandarin orange, all streaked with a touch of grassiness and nettle. On thepalate that bountiful fruit-bowl of flavours fills the mouth, but there's sucha beautifully judged core of grapefruit and salty minerality that it is neversimple, never cloying, but superbly defined and balanced into a long finish.
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- Tom Cannavan

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