Delaire Graff Chenin Blanc Swartland Reserve 2015 & my Brick Chicken – 02.02.2017

Delaire Graff Chenin Blanc Swartland Reserve 2015

Morné Vrey, the winemaker at Delaire Graff Estate at the top of the Banghoek Valley in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation, is able to use grapes from other wine appellations, from vineyards contracted to supply the winery.  The vineyards are watched over by Delaire Graff’s viticultural team to ensure that the grape are produced in accordance with the requirements of the winemaker.

The weather leading up to the 2015 harvest was excellent leading to healthy grapes with little loss in the vineyards. Great quality, great analysis and great flavour.

Morné Vrey, Winemaker at Delaire Graff

The grapes for the Delaire Graff Chenin Blanc Swartland Reserve 2015 were hand harvested in the early morning into 18kg lug boxes and rushed to the cellar.

Once there the grapes were hand sorted to ensure that no material other than the finest grapes go through for the winemaking processes.  The grapes were whole bunch pressed and barrel fermented for 14 days. Maturation took place in French barrels for 10 months with 60% in 400 litre barrels and 40% in 2500 litre Foudre barrels. No batonnage or malolactic fermentation took place in order to retain freshness in the wine.

Beautiful, beautiful Chenin Blanc

It looks like
Bottled under screw cap in the traditional Burgundy bottle.  Simple elegant label. In the glass a gem bright, pale straw colour.

It smells like
All the classical Chenin whiffs, tropical fruits, fynbos honey, white flowers.

It tastes like
Guavas, desiccated pineapple, melon in layers with the honey and marzipan. Undertow of the oak and its concomitant spices.  Perfect harmony from entry, through mid-palate and into the long gently waning aftertaste. A superb glass of wine.

My Brick Chicken

It’s good with
I often go the chicken route with Chenin Blanc simply because they are truly great partners. Both the restaurants on the Delaire Graff Estate served any number of dishes which are a great match to this wine, Michael Deg of the Delaire Graff Restaurant and Virgil Kahn at Indochine are both excellent chefs and we have loved the food served in both of the restaurants.  If you are not able to get there, my Brick Chicken would be a delicious partner – click here. I’d seen steak grillers putting weights on their steaks and wondered how it would work with chicken. It worked well, and I later discovered that is was quite a popular dish in Sicily, known as Sotto Mattone.

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