Given the wide array of Chenin Blanc styles, it is not surprising that this wine is one of South Africa’s favourites. This locally most planted varietal also sees itself end up in a fair amount of South African brandy and our overflowing brandy trophy cabinet is proof that team SA does not only make great brandy, but also brilliant Chenin Blanc.
Given the above I decided that a recent WineLand team meeting and lunch should include a tasting consisting of a fair amount of Chenins. Once again we were shown that good old Chenin Blanc is just that – good old Chenin Blanc. It’s versatile, delicious and particularly well suited for a hot summer day. Two very interesting and delicious first release wines (blends of some of the rarer varietals) were also tasted – I found both of these wines magnificently intriguing, mysterious and complex.
Here are the wines we tasted and some very quick tasting notes:
Stofberg Family Vineyards Mia Chenin Blanc 2017
Fruit driven, grapefruit, citrus, pineapple, flinty.
Merwida Chenin Blanc 2016
Citrus, coconut, apricot, floral, peach, cedar wood. Quite oaky and could do with some more ageing, but already very drinkable. Full bodied.
Avondale Anima Chenin Blanc 2015
Honey, melon, grippy tannins, nutty, lemon zest, gooseberry, peach.
Avondale Cyclus 2012 (Viognier, Chardonnay, Rousanne, Chenin Blanc and Semillon)
Perfumy, oaky, nutty, peach, apricot. Excellent mouthfeel and structure.
Org de Rac Die Waghuis White 2016 (Verdelho, Chenin Blanc, Roussanne 2016 – first release)
Good restraint, citrus, almond, ripe fig, very complex and creamy.
Org de Rac Die Waghuis Red 2016 (Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Verdelho – first release)
Cherry, bruised apple, Turkish delight, tea leaves, faint spices. Incredible balance and depth.
And that’s it, short and to the point. What a blessing to be able to taste such a battery of sublime wines in one sitting. South Africa, you ROCK!
Now go up and stock up on your Christmas wines, the above information should serve you well.