Chenin Blanc is one of the oldest varieties in South Africa, The variety arrived here in the 1650s. Chenin Blanc was known as Steen until 1963 when it was identified as the Loire Valley’s famous white grape. Chenin thrives in the South African climate and during the 20th century it grew to be our most widely planted variety and remains so to this day, with South Africa growing about two thirds of the world’s supply. And 6 times the area of vineyard than that of the Loire.
The Annual #DrinkChenin Day is on this Saturday, and while I would suggest drinking Chenin every day, here are a couple of my favourites.
Martin Moore, Founding Cellarmaster and Kobus Gerber, the winery’s White Wine Specialist have produced a truly enjoyable Chenin. Packed in a Burgundy shaped bottle and closed with a screw cap. Brilliant lime skin colour in the glass. The aromas are of white guavas, desiccated pineapple and these are found on the palate with ripe yellow peaches and sweet pears. Full soft and round and oh so pleasant as a sipper, though made for food.
Read more about Durbanville Hills Wines – CLICK HERE
For 5 generations, the De Villiers Family have owned and managed their Landskroon Estate. The Landskroon is medium of body with all the classical Chenin flavours, Granny Smith apples, honey, white flowers and tropical fruits. Enough oomph to complement a roast pork belly or a simple dish of lemon and parsley butter fried tranche of a SASSI friendly fish.
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Nic van Aarde has made a sublime expression of Chenin Blanc. A gem bright honey straw colour in the glass. The aromas are of ripe white peaches, mango and desiccated pineapple. These segue on to the palate, which is rich and generous, with a beautiful acidity line running through from entry to the long aftertaste in which you will find sappy ripe pears and aromatic spice.
Read more about Oldenburg Vineyards – CLICK HERE
Simonsig’s first Chenin Blanc was bottled in 1968, perhaps the first estate bottled Chenin? Beautifully packaged in a bespoke bottle, shaped a bit like and Alsatian Flute, closed with screw cap. In the glass, the wine is a brilliant, clear straw colour with a lime green tinge. Vibrant tropical fruit aromas of melon and granadilla, apple, white flowers and fynbos honey are joined in the beautifully constructed palate with its perfect line of acidity. Perfect with white meats, chicken, sushi and ceviche.
Read more about Simonsig Wine Estate – CLICK HERE
Spier Wine Farm offers not one but a range of Chenin Blancs. Each well worth the visit. My favourites are the Signature to which I always direct people who want to know what Chenin Blanc actually tastes like and the 21 Gables. Spier has 21 Gables and there is a range of wines under this moniker. All of these offer much enjoyment to the Chenin lover.
Read more about Spier Wine Farm – CLICK HERE
This wine estate really needs to be better known. The wines are in the stratosphere. Friedrich Kühne has made a stonker here. In the glass, the wine is a gem bright lemon straw in colour. The aromas are of preserved lemon, oven baked quince, white flowers and pink apples. The palate is crunchy in texture with crisp green fruits, lemon, lime and a kelp minerality with roasted hazelnuts in undertow. This is a wine for serious discussion, and superb with food. A well roasted duck with sauce soubise, oriental foods like sushi and sashimi, or a dish of pasta with a creamy sauce all with find happiness when paired with this wine.
Read more about Welgegund Wines– CLICK HERE