- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sincerely (Neil Ellis) Sauvignon Blanc, Coastal South Africa, 2007, $14

There’s something about unadulterated sauvignon blanc that makes it taste especially good on a steamy summer evening. Maybe it’s the vibrant scent of grapefruit and other citrus fruits. Perhaps it’s the herbal secondary flavors, or the zesty acidity. Whatever the reasons, good sauvignon, served cold and crisp, makes for great hot weather sipping.

South African vintners are turning out some excellent wines in this refreshing style. The maritime influence in vineyards along the coasts of the Atlantic and Indian oceans keeps temperatures cool, particularly during summer nights. As a result, the grapes retain their natural acidity, and the resulting wines taste vivacious.

Neil Ellis makes some of South Africa’s finest sauvignon blancs. Many taste aggressively intense, but his Sincerely label is reserved for wines with a somewhat softer profile. Still bright, they seduce rather than attack your taste buds.

This 2007 will pair well with shellfish and summer salads with chicken, crab or tuna. It is delicious right now, but don’t buy more than you’ll drink over the course of the next few months. Its great appeal comes from its freshness, and wines from the 2008 harvest in the Southern Hemisphere will begin showing up in Washington wine shops in fall. (Imported by Vineyard Brands.)

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