A collaborative project on Sauvignon Blanc from the Constantia Valley

Sensory evaluation of Sauvignon Blanc

Teamwork makes the dream work!

Thanks to the participation of a great team of Constantia winemakers, we were able to map out the sensory profiles of 2018 Constantia Sauvignon Blanc wines.

How we did it – Projective Mapping

Our trained sensory panellists used the projective mapping technique to evaluate the wines. Projective mapping is a rapid sensory profiling method where panellists position wines on an A3 sheet of paper according to how different or similar they are. The more similar, the closer together, the more different, the further apart. Each panellists also provides free comments on what made the wines similar or different from each other. Now, throughout my career as a sensory scientist, and note that I did my PhD on projective mapping, I am always surprised that a method that seems so haphazard actually produces high quality results. Sometimes, projective mapping data can be difficult to interpret, but in the end the results always make sense. Projective mapping is a great tool to get an holistic view of a product category – in this case Sauvignon Blanc wines from Constantia.

What we found

Unlike the study we did last year on Durbanville Sauvignon Blanc wines, the Constantia wines covered the whole sensory spectrum associated with Sauvignon Blanc. The wines varied from light and acidic to rich and ripe to green and fresh. The terms passionfruit, guava and grassy were used most often to describe the Sauvignon blanc wines from this region.

This image shows all the words that were associated with the Sauvignon Blanc wines submitted to the study.

SenseLab sensory profiling of Constantia Sauvignon Blanc

Sensory descriptors that describes Sauvignon Blanc wines from Constantia









In contrast, these are the descriptors that we found to be most prominent in our study on 2017 Durbanville Sauvignon Blanc wines last year.


SenseLabsensory evaluation of Durbanville Sauvignon Blancc

Descriptors describing Durbanville Sauvignon Blanc 2017 vintage

Thank you to the winemakers from Steenberg, Constantia Uitsig, Constantia Glen, Klein Constantia, Groot Constantia and Buiteverwachting for their participation in this collaborative project.

We look forward to collaborating with other wine regions on other cultivars. Stellenbosch Cab Franc anyone?


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