Humour is not the first sense encountered in the travails of the Cape winelands. Then along came Sophie.
There are some out there who think South African sauvignon is taken far too seriously (and too highly priced). And it cannot be said that the local wine industry is awash with truly amusing labels. (Not those that are funny for the wrong reasons: those awful, invented, pretentious names, and truly horrific, self-praising descriptions on back labels.)
But one must hand it to the Gunns of Iona in Elgin. Their new Sophie Te'blanche is a real eye-catching, drinking joy. Name (a delightful, silly bit of awkward wordplay with entertaining associations) and label (simple, camp and cheerful) are the best since the Fat Bastards appeared years ago. It's a nice cut-down of sauvignon hype about the 'wild white' – and has a good price to match.
Made from what remains after the fee-run juice has been drawn for the now famous Iona sauvignon, the Sophie Te'blanche 2009 is a tad sweeter, but with the winery's typical floral, pear and mineral tones. A lovely wine, but more so for the name and illustration on the easy-drinking screw-capped bottle. What a wily, wacko wild gal!