Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Winemaker: Hattingh de Villiers
Background: Christian Eedes and Jacqueline Lahoud of Winemag.co.za are at it again by adding the Cape White Blend Report to their already excellent portfolio of annual wine reports. Having the term “Cape” means the wines in order to be eligible to enter must contain a minimum of 15% and no more than 85% Chenin Blanc. Chenin Blanc in the Cape has seen an incredible resurgence in popularity over the past decade with many purists of fine white wines moving away from popular white varieties like Sauvignon Blanc to wines made from this noble grape variety which hails from the Loire in France. There are several competitions for Chenin Blanc but this is the first to recognise Chenin as an important and desirable component to a white blend. Judges, Christian, along with Roland Peens and James Pietersen tasted through 43 wines from 36 producers entered, of which 14 of these rated 90 or higher on the 100-point quality scale scoring system.
A long-time favourite of mine has been Muratie’s Laurens Campher White Blend and the 2015 scored an impressive 94 points in this Report which was only one point behind the winning wine! The farm on which Muratie Wine Estate is situated started life back in 1685 when it was granted to a young German soldier, Laurens Campher, by Governer Simon van Der Stel. This surely must make Muratie one of the oldest estates in the Cape and judging by the delightfully olden tasting room, along with cobwebs, there are often interesting stories told from all the characters that lived there! Today Muratie is owned and managed by Dr Rijk Melck, who has over the years revived the rich heritage of the estate as well as the brand by naming his range of wines after the many characters that have made up its history along its way…the Laurens Campher being one of them!
This wine is an interesting combination of 40% Chenin Blanc, 29% Verdelho (a Portuguese variety), 2% Viognier and 29% Sauvignon Blanc. After barrel fermentation the wine spent time in both new, second and third fill barrels for ten months prior to bottling.
Result: This is a complex wine with honeysuckle aromas leading to a rich, slightly off-dry palate full of dried peach flavours with hints of caramel leading to a long stylish finish.
When to drink: now till 2019
Drink with what: Grilled line fish or Thai chicken or if you happen to visit the farm then try it with Kim’s (Rijks wife) delicious Chicken Pie!
Expect to pay: R117.00