Chenin is an extremely versatile grape, able to make excellent wines in many different guises, from Late harvest to Straw wine to classic dry Chenin and even Méthode Champenoise. This example is a wonderfully lively, intense, fruity and beautifully balanced dry Chenin Blanc. Aromas of green apples and white peach invite the juicy, yet taut palate. A depth of fruit is what sets this wine apart. It shows great persistence of flavour and freshness that linger on the palate long after the wine has gone. Very individual, the character of this wine makes it a perfect companion to warm summer days and long balmy evenings.
In the Vineyard
These Chenin Blanc bush vines are situated on the gravelly slopes and extensively decomposed granite soils of the Helderberg where they benefit from the cooling maritime breezes of False Bay. Over the winter, rainfall figures came close to the long-term average for Stellenbosch, which came as a relief to many. With more moisture in the soil the vines displayed strong vigour. The cool daytime conditions (and especially nights!) of December and January meant that our earlier varieties ripened with lovely acidity and great freshness, all at lower alcohol levels.
In the Cellar
Separate parcels were picked by hand at different levels of ripeness in order to ensure there was a good complexity and balance of acidity, fruit and minerality. Each parcel contributes something different to the whole and this gives us a range of options when considering the blend. Cool fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with natural yeast (favouring fruit enhancement). The juice was kept on lees for 4 months, with occasional battonnage to enhance palate weight and texture of the wine. The components were blended prior to bottling, whilst still on the lees, to allow total integration of the final wine before preparing for bottling. Minimal fining prior to filtration was maintained throughout. The focus here is on flavour retention and fruit definition, while maintaining the lovely refreshing character for which this wine has become known.