Steenberg Rattlesnake is a decadent Sauvignon Blanc for cooler days

Discover the elegance and comforting qualities of a beautifully textured Sauvignon Blanc as the chilly season begins to breeze in. Steenberg Rattlesnake Sauvignon Blanc is the ultimate nuanced wine with a rich and creamy mouthfeel that is both comforting and expressive of its singular cool climate origins.

The just released Steenberg Rattlesnake 2018 is a lightly wooded rendition that completes Steenberg’s three single varietal tiers of Sauvignon Blanc, each expressing the Steenberg terroir and unique sense of place in the Constantia wine valley.

The Rattlesnake is set apart by its exceptionally creamy texture and velvety mouthfeel, not usually associated with Sauvignon Blanc, while simultaneously expressing a backbone of spicy acidity and a lingering mineral finish so quintessentially Steenberg. Hints of citrus reveal the winter persona of this wine even further as grapefruit, Cape gooseberry, nectarine and blackcurrant marry on the nose and palate.

The Rattlesnake’s alluring character inspired Steenberg Executive Chef Kerry Kilpin to create an equally nurturing risotto dish. Made with a generous splash of Steenberg Rattlesnake, her artichoke, pea and chevin risotto is absolute comfort food that is even more enjoyable when paired with a glass or two of this warming, voluptuous Sauvignon Blanc.

The 2018 vintage owes its creamy texture to meticulous attention in the cellar, mastering the fine art of adding complexity while retaining freshness and purity of fruit.  The wine was fermented and aged for nine months in predominantly older large French oak barrels. A portion of the wine was fermented separately in concrete egg fermentation tanks that have become part of the wine’s evolution since the 2017 vintage.

Much like the classic wooden barrel, the egg-shaped concrete tank is permeable to air enabling the winemaking team to enhance the textural quality even further and really push the mouthfeel. The thermodynamics assist in the oxygenation and fluidity of the wine, resulting in longer lees contact while protecting the delicate flavour profiles synonymous with Steenberg’s cool climate grapes.

Steenberg’s distinctive terroir on the foothills of Steenberg Mountain can be attributed to the synergy between the cool prevailing south-easterly winds that blow off the ocean during summer months and lean soils of decomposed granite that impart the characteristic minerality to the wines. The coastal breezes cool the vines, ensuring the grapes retain their signature bracing acidity and pure fruit character.

Although Steenberg Rattlesnake 2018 is already beautifully balanced, this lightly wooded Sauvignon Blanc will go the distance for up to seven years from vintage, rewarding careful cellaring with a truly evolved experience.

The wine is available at the cellar door at R160. For more information or online purchases, visit or join the conversation by following @SteenbergWines on Twitter or @SteenbergFarm on Facebook and Instagram.


By Steenberg Executive Chef Kerry Kilpin

  • 300ml good chicken or vegetable stock
  • Boiling water
  • Olive oil
  • 1t chopped garlic
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 120g Arborio rice
  • 1 tin artichokes drained and chopped
  • 90ml Steenberg Rattlesnake Sauvignon Blanc
  • 100g grated parmesan cheese
  • 50g butter
  • 100g peas
  • 5g chopped basil
  • 5g chopped parsley
  • 1 log goats’ chevin

Heat the stock in a pot to a simmer.

In a second pot, sweat the onions and garlic in a little olive oil for 3 minutes without colouring. Add the rice and chopped artichokes and cook for a further 2 minutes or until the rice starts to become slightly translucent on the edges.  Add the wine and stir until the rice thickens and half the wine has evaporated.

Turn the heat down, gradually add the stock ladle by ladle.  Stir occasionally.  As the rice thickens up add more stock, you do not want it to get too thick.  Cook for 15 – 20 minutes until the rice is cooked. (The grains should be white in colour but have a firm centre).

Add the butter, peas, herbs and parmesan. Season to taste. If you find the rice is a bit thick, thin it down with a bit of stock or boiling water if you have used all your stock.

To serve, crumble the goats’ chevin over the top and enjoy with a glass of Steenberg Rattlesnake Sauvignon Blanc.

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