The nose shows lemon, fynbos and a hint of honeysuckle while the palate is medium-bodied with bright acidity and a gently savoury finish. It’s well-positioned in that’s a slightly more studied rendition than the standard unwooded but equally not nearly as rich and leesy as the top-end versions of the variety from this cellar. 92/100 Christian Eedes winemag.co.za
Grapes for this wine are harvested from a 42 year old vineyard on our Bottelary property. This vineyard plays very much different to any of our other Chenin vineyards as it is one of two Chenin Blanc blocks which receives a majority of morning sun rather than afternoon sun. The vineyard is planted to North Eastern slopes of decomposed granite. The effect of the wind and sun is often overlooked in the direction of planting. Morning sun usually allows for slower ripening at lower temperatures and UV exposure rates leading to elegant wines with lively acidity and a touch of class.
In the Cellar
As these decomposed granite slopes are on higher altitude vineyards, the grapes don’t often catch Botrytis. It is a toned-down version of the usual rich style of Chenin Blanc produced by Stellenrust and a version truer to nature than to winemaker. Grapes are harvested at about 22 Balling, allowed skin contact to start fermentation on the skins and the juice then drained after some skin ferment time to older 225 litre French oak barrels. The age of the barrels varies from 4 to 10 years. It is not about the oak, but the texture that these old barrels lend Chenin Blanc. A wild yeast fermentation in barrel can take up to 5 months to complete and total maturation time in barrel does not exceed 7 months.
42-year-old bush vines from Bottelary property planted to decomposed granite – dryland vineyards.
Time spent on lees in barrel
7 months in 100% French oak, 4-10 year old barrels
The delicacy, yet richness of this wine, allows it to complement a wide array of dishes. As it is not that heavily wooded, it can be enjoyed in summertime as a good alternative to Sauvignon Blanc – the morning sun carries good acidity and freshness in these wines. It can also be paired with more flamboyant food like foie gras or confit of duck.