Wine note – March 2024

2022 Vergelegen Millrace Sauvignon Blanc

Are you tired of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but don’t like the price or the lean-ness and high acidity of Sancerre? Then try the halfway house, South African, but which one?

Vergelegen (which means ‘situated far away’) is a top estate in Stellenbosch and produces an entry Sauvignon Blanc which retails for £11 to £13. So far, so simple, but that’s where simplicity ends; the wine has at least three different labels: Inde-pendent Supplier – a minimalist label ;Tesco – a different label, bearing a vine-yard photo and the word ‘Fairtrade’; Majestic – a different label again- this time bearing the word ‘Millrace’. It is claimed to be ‘exclusive to Majestic’.

The Vergelegen website is no help; details of the 2023 are accompanied by a photo of the 2020. Is it the same wine relabeled or is it blended differently for each outlet? Pity the poor consumer. I tried the Majestic version and thoroughly recommend it. It has the grassiness of the Loire and the fruit of Marlborough. And there’s lots of juicy balancing acidity. It’s £12.99 for a single bottle, but £10.99 if you buy at least six bottles (which may be mixed).

I’ll try the Tesco version next, but will it be available at the ‘normal’ price, the club card price or even at ‘the 25% off for six price’? As if wine isn’t confusing enough …
John Freeland, u3a Wine Tasting Group