All three cultivars that comprise the blend for the 1707 White Reserve hail from a single grower, located in the Stellenbosch Kloof area. This region has long been the home to some of South Africa’s top-performing and most famous wines. So popular is the wine that it also enjoys support from loyal importers, mainly in the Netherlands, Russia and Japan. The wine is also exported to California.
Stellenbosch Hills winemaker James Ochse describes the latest iteration of 1707 White Reserve as having a pale, straw-yellow hue. The complex nose is aromatic and recalls fresh citrus, jasmine flowers and a hint of honey suckle. “The palate is full bodied with zesty acidity, a concentrated mid palate and juicy tannins,” he says, adding that its richness makes it a good accompaniment to sushi, seafood curries, mussel soup, risotto and cream-based dishes.
The 1707 White Reserve is a Chardonnay-driven blend with portions of Semillon and Viognier. Each was matured on the lees, in 300-litre French oak barrels for 10 months. The Chardonnay component was further rounded in a concrete, egg-shaped wine tank. The tank mimics the form of ancient Greek and Roman amphorae and allows the contents to circulate evenly and smoothly, and so provide a more refined wine. Bâtonnage took place every two weeks and the components were blended before bottling.
According to James, the wine may be consumed right away, but will continue to develop for up to three years from bottling.
The 1707 White Reserve 2020 is available at most independent liquor stores and Stellenbosch Hills’ cellar door for R135.
Stellenbosch Hills is located at the intersection of the R310 and Vlottenburg Road, just outside Stellenbosch.