Even though we do not celebrate Thanksgiving here on the southernmost tip of Africa, we thought we would give thanks for some of the best wine South Africa has to offer. We couldn’t think of a better opportunity to be thankful for having some of the most delicious wines, right on our doorstep. Our focus this time is on four world-class Chenin Blancs coming straight from the Swartland.
All four of these wines are highly unusual in their own unique ways, despite all coming from the same region. The Swartland lies around 60km north-east of Cape Town near the town of Malmesbury. The region is characterized by dry land vineyards, cooled by the sea breezes from the Atlantic Ocean. The wine produced in this region is therefore some of the best value for money wines that the country has to offer, with multiple awards coming out of the region.
Mother Rock is a totally unique project which has been born out of a union between Johan “Stompie” Meyer and Ben Henshaw. Both men are well recognized names in the industry, Henshaw known for his success with Indigo and Stompie taking “Signature” wines to amazing heights. For this Chenin, grapes undergo 9 weeks of skin contact which results in its deep golden orange color. On the nose you will find complex aromas of exotic fruits, apricot and honey. On the palate is the distinctive taste of marzipan and fresh minerality. It is described as a geeky Chenin and one can see why as it is fermented 100% whole bunch for a total of 9 weeks on the skins afterwhich, it sits in 500-litre French oak barrels for 10 months.
Not only has this estate won the Platter Winery of the Year, but winemaker Andrea Mullinuex has been recognized as Winemaker of the Year 2016 by the international Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It is therefore highly surprising that you can pick up a bottle of their Kloof Street for under R100 and to us, it almost seems underpriced for this delicious treat. The wine is part tank and part barrel fermented which gives it a great freshness, balance and drinkability. It has a pale straw colour, and on the nose demonstrates sun ripened pears and wet granite. On the palate is more stone fruit, balanced with a slight acidity. It is ended with a round texture with some pithy character which has a similar character to a Chardonnay.
This Chenin is produced straight out of the AA Badenhorst estate, a well known and highly respected estate in the Swartland flats. The wine is naturally fermented and kept on the lees for about 10 months in old French oak. This has created a delicious wine with hints of white flowers, peachy earth and a long resonance. On the palate it has very moderate acidity with heavy concentrations of fruit. The almost pithy aftertaste on the palate gives it an almost Chardonnay feel to it as it ends off being almost bitter.
Old Vine Chenin Blanc is somewhat difficult to come by, so when you can get your hands on one, we recommend you do. It is absolutely delicious with an almost Christmas spice undertone to it. If you love liquorice flavours, this is the wine we recommend for you! The wine has been barrel fermented with indigenous yeasts and the wine is aged for 11 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. The palate is fresh and richly textured, with notes of ripe pears, almonds and peaches, and a clove-like finish.
Make sure you get these Chenin Superstars today from Cybercellar and have something to be really thankful for!