Founded by Anthony Hamilton Russell in 1994, Southern Right's aim was to produce a serious, age-worthy Pinotage (South Africa’s unique red grape variety) combining a distinct South African fruit and flavour expression with classic styling and refinement.
Southern Right is a small Pinotage and Sauvignon blanc specialist located on a strikingly beautiful 448-hectare property in the cool, maritime, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation, just behind the old fishing village of Hermanus.
The wines are named after the rare Southern Right whales, which frequent the cool South Atlantic Walker Bay, 3 kilometres from the vineyards. With each bottle sold, Southern Right makes a contribution to their conservation or conservation in the area.
"Southern Right's strong, cooling, maritime influence and extremely old and stony clay-rich soils, combined with our tight focus on only two wines, have enabled us to redefine South Africa's unique variety Pinotage with a more classically styled wine. Our lighter structured sandstone-derived soils combine with our clay-rich soils to produce a highly individual Sauvignon blanc, with marked minerality and complexity."
— Anthony Hamilton Russell
After the early and short 2015 and 2016 harvests, 2018, like 2017 was back to our usual timing, beginning at the end of the first week of February, but with a longer harvest, finishing at the end of the first week of March. Budding was even and successful, with higher-than-usual early Spring temperatures, but an unusually wet November and a cool December affected flowering and fruit-set, resulting in particularly low yields — far lower than our already low yields. The berries were smaller and the bunches were lighter, but the resulting wines were deeper, fuller and more structured. December and January were drier than average, making for relatively easy and successful disease control organically, with February only very slightly wetter than our long-term average. A warmer than average February, combined with the very low yields and small berries, did however contribute to the riper more opulent style of 2018 compared to 2017. One of the features of 2018 was fairly variable ripening within individual vineyards, and within individual bunches. Picking on taste, combined with analysis, and picking particular areas within individual vineyards at different times, was particularly important in 2018. This required a high level of vigilance and very close teamwork between cellar and vineyard, both of which were carried out with great success. 2018 was an excellent vintage for us.
Notes and Reviews
Tim Atkin (90)
The Southern Right Sauvignon blanc comes from 16 different blocks in Walker Bay. Unwooded, it's a sappy, saline, vinous white with dill and grapefruit flavours and a juicy, lip-smacking finish.
|Grape Varieties||Sauvignon blanc|
|Age of Vines||13 years old|
|Vinification||Hand picked, pressed to tank. Cold-settling overnight then fermentation in stainless-steel tanks.|
|Elevage||4 months on fine lees in stainless steel vats|
|Soil Type||52% Table Mountain sandstone-derived soil; 48% clay-rich shale derived soil|