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89 pts Robert Parker Jr.’s The Wine Advocate (NM)
The 2016 Sanctuary Peak Sauvignon Blanc is blended with barrel fermented 6% Semillon, the Sauvignon in 50% new oak. It has a crisp green apple, kiwi fruit and peach skin scented bouquet (the latter probably originating from the Semillon). The palate is well balanced with light crisp green fruit, touches of orange zest with a lively and attractive finish.
88 pts Wine Enthusiast March 2019
There’s not a ton of aromatic intensity here, with some delicate hints of white melon rind, fresh thyme, mint and lemon pith in the bouquet. It’s lightweight and easy to enjoy, with good acidity and touches of sweet orange and pineapple flavors on the back of the palate.
4 ½ Stars 2018 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Elegant & composed, a sauvignon not reliant on acidity for presence or persistence, 10% new-oak fermented semillon adds lanolin & vanilla nuances to 16’s white peach & citrus fruit, gives weight & texture to its focused minerality. Even better with a few years of age.
Known as Downes Family Wines in the U.S. and Shannon Family Wines in South Africa:
The focus of this wine is based on a vineyard component arising from low yielding Table Mountain Sandstone soils. Using neutral yeasts, Shannon Sauvignon Blanc expresses very distinctive and concentrated primary fruit aromas of asparagus, citrus, and some capsicum in a minerally and flinty style. The clay/shale soils however, provide the Sauvignon with flavours on the riper side of the fruit spectrum and with more structure for a broader palate. The blending in of naturally fermented Semillon, matured on the lees, provides a fuller mouth feel and adds to the complexity of the wine. This wine was vinified in a style that enhances the aging potential of Sauvignon Blanc.