Wine Review: Waterkloof Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc, 2016

I don’t actually know why I haven’t started doing drinks reviews before now, as this ultimately gives me an excuse to knock back more alcohol and class it as ‘research’. Safe to say this will now become a regular feature, so expect to see tonnes more boozy posts from now on. And if drinks aren’t really your thing, I apologise in advance.

For the very first review, I’ve this week been testing out a rather lovely South African Sauvignon Blanc (13% ABV) courtesy of Magnum Wine Shop. I say this week- it only lasted a couple of hours before I’d gone through the bottle. I can therefore confirm it’s a very easy drinking wine indeed.

Waterkloof use organic and biodynamic methods in their wine production; soils are free of chemicals, and are instead maintained by plant extracts from their own natural compost. Grapes are whole-pressed so their juice is extracted in the gentlest way, with naturally present yeast then settling within the juice. This basically ferments it over a longer period time, and results in a well-structured palette.

This minimalist approach to wine making is one that I generally favour- I’m quite sensitive to white wines that have additional acids, and they can upset my stomach pretty badly. I was therefore pleased to learn that Waterkloof don’t mess about with their wine by adding acid or enzymes during the process, so they’re a great option for those of a sensitive disposition like myself.


As soon as you crack open the bottle, you get plenty of fruity aromas. The nose is clean and fresh, with hints of apple, grapefruit, and gooseberry. The overall effect is rather pleasant. On the mouth, there’s a medley of juicy fruits, with the gooseberry becoming more prominent on the palette. It has a decent body and texture too, but nothing too heavy; on the contrary, this wine is light and surprisingly elegant, especially considering it only costs a tenner.

If you’re looking to pair this wine with food, I’d opt for white fish or vegetables. It also works rather well in a risotto- I added a (very) generous amount to my pearl barley and mushroom creation, and it was bloody lovely.

Overall, it’s a wonderfully subtle, refreshing wine that has plenty of structure and bite. It might actually be my new favourite white of all time.


Score: 10/10

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