Wine of the Week: 2013 Honey Shale Hill

December 5, 2013 

South African sauvignon blanc has long had my respect and admiration. I know everyone's all about New Zealand, but the 2013 Honey Shale Hill is pretty near off the charts. It's named for the shale soils in a particular vineyard of Stellenbosch called Edgebaston. David Finlayson has crafted a blend of 74 percent sauvignon blanc, 15 percent semillon and 11 percent viognier. It's juicy, bright and tropical. The viognier brings floral notes, and lees stirring adds a creamy texture. (That's where they stir up the dead yeast and goo at the bottom of the tank. Sounds bad but creates killer flavors and textures.) Just goes to show you what superior fruit and wine-making skill can do. Try it with spicy Asian chicken! Costs about $18.

-- Mike McVittie reviews locally available wines

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