2020 Thorne & Daughters, Snakes & Ladders, 6x750ml

2020 Thorne & Daughters, Snakes & Ladders, 6x750ml

100% Sauvignon Blanc
Alcohol: 13.5%
An atypical South African Sauvignon Blanc which does away with overbearing primary fruit. The nose boasts aromas of blackberry leaf, wild grass and herbal nuances along with honey melon, ripe citrus and a flinty, earthy smokiness. The palate is bold with a voluptuous structure balanced by a bracing acidity that carries the flavours onto the lasting finish.

Availability: 4 weeks

Case size: 6 / Bottle size: 750ml

Duty Status
From £130.00

Critics Score: 92

Publication: Neil Martin, Vinous

Drinking Dates: 2021-2032

The 2020 Snakes & Ladders is pure Sauvignon Blanc, whole-bunch-pressed and matured in used oak barrels. It offers an enticing, quite pithy bouquet of mirabelle, jasmine and wax resin scents. The palate is well balanced with a slightly viscous texture that is effortlessly countered by both the razor-sharp acidity and the intrinsic spiciness. White pepper and stem ginger furnish the finish, which lingers in the mouth. A superb Sauvignon Blanc from winemaker John Seccombe.
Thorne & Daughters is widely acknowledged as one of the forerunners of the ‘New Wave’ wine movement in South Africa.

The Sauvignon Blanc grapes for the ‘Snakes & Ladders’ are sourced from the Citrusdal Mountain district from a vineyard at 460 metres above sea level, on the slopes of the Skurfberg mountain. This remote area, more known for rooibos tea and sheep farming, has a few isolated parcels of grapes. The dry-farmed, 26-year-old bush vines are planted on deep red sandy soils over clay. The old bush vines are low yielding and produce incredibly concentrated grapes which are harvested by hand.

Following five years of drought, the 2020 vintage received long-awaited rains. That said, little of the season’s rain reached the Skurfberg Sauvignon Blanc vineyard. Some rain was able to support very healthy canopy development, and water stress provided a good limit on the natural vigour of the Sauvignon Blanc vines, resulting in a slightly larger crop than previous years and berries with lively acidities and great balance.

Upon arrival at the winery, the Sauvignon Blanc grapes were whole bunch pressed in an old Vaslin press. This ensured an oxidative and very gentle pressing - yielding a very clear juice. The juice was left to settle overnight and was then racked into old, 225 and 600-litre French oak barrels for fermentation with natural yeasts. After fermentation, the wine underwent spontaneous malolactic fermentation and was aged in barrel on its lees for around 10 months. No sulphur additions were made until August following the vintage once the wine had had time to settle. The final blend was assembled in November and was bottled at the end of December.