Winery location: Stellenbosch
Winemaker: Morne Very
Background: Chenin Blanc is the white wine variety that makes an exceptionally wide range of wine styles from bone dry through to medium sweet to the moorish botrytis dessert wines. It is also proved a wonderful cultivar for the making of good sparkling wine as well as excellent table brandies. It originates from the Anjou region in the Loire Valley in France but does very well in warmer climates such as ours where wine makers value the acidity level it retains at full ripeness. Locally the grape is also referred to as Steen and accounts for 18% of our vineyard area which is far larger than in France! Considered a noble variety, many of our wine makers are creating premium and often award winning wines and the emphasis continues to elevate increased quality in the production of these wines. Morne Very, winemaker at Delaire Graff outside of Stellenbosch, is an avid Chenin devotee and introduced Chenin Blanc to the Delaire stable a few years ago with an unwooded Old Vine Chenin as well as a rich barrel fermented version. He has discontinued the OVC so that he can concentrate on developeing his wooded version, the Swartland Resevre. The grapes were sourced from 30-40 year old dry land bush vines in the Swartland region. Fermentation took place in barrels over a period of 14 days. The wine was then transferred to French barrels for 10 months maturation in both 400 litre and 2500 litre barrels prior to bottling. Interesting to note that there no batonage or malolactic fermentation took place in order to retain freshness.
Result: Aromas of fresh tropical fruit and pineapple with hints of honeyed fynbos. Good crisp acidity balances the intense fruit flavours. A taut yet textured wine with length.
When to drink: Now till 2020
Drink with what: Smoked salmon, feta cheese and cream tagliatelle.
Expect to pay: R161.00