Zevenwacht Chenin Blanc 2016
Chenin Blanc is so much in favour and there are some serious practitioners out there, making some exciting wines.
The Zevenwacht Chenin Blanc 2016 is one of them.
Zevenwacht Manor House
Zevenwacht is situated in a southerly part of the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation just north of the shores of False Bay, which plays such an important part in the life of the vines on the Estate. Cooling breezes off the sea at the height of ripening time ameliorates the summer hear in the vineyards allowing the grapes to ripen more slowly and gather flavour as they do so.
This westerly facing vineyard with its north south row planting is 35 years old, a venerable age for a South African vineyard. At harvest time, the grapes were hand harvested at three different times during the ideal ripeness window to give as much breadth to the flavours. Separately vinified, the three picks were fermented in French oak barrels and then allowed to lie on the lees for a further four months.
Zevenwacht Jacques Viljoen & Assistant Winemaker Charles Lourens
The barrels used were 20% new untoasted barrels, and the balance was made up from 20% 2nd fill, 20% third fill and 40% 4th fill. Regular stirring, known as batonnage, took place and this added to the complexity and mid palate flavours. Prefilled barrels allow the fruit to shine while providing a supportive platform of oak. The best 15 barrels were then chosen and blended before the wine was prepared for bottling.
Chenin Blanc ripening on the vine
It looks like
Bottled under screw cap in a Burgundy shaped bottle with the elegant white Zevenwacht label. In the glass, it is gem bright pale gold with flashes of lime.
It smells like
All the classical Chenin whiffs, guava, desiccated pineapple, white flowers, honey. Supportive oak.
It tastes like
Generous tropical fruits, guava, winter melon textures, and starfruit crispness. Gentle oak with the ending which is dry, crisp and satisfying. Lovely, lovely wine.
Roberta Muir’s Artichoke & White Bean Puree
It’s good with
Good as a glass on its own when you are looking for something serious to sip at. It is excellent with a Butter Roasted Organic Chicken, and pairs well with Oriental foods. Roberta Muir, an Australian friend, sent me her Artichoke and White Bean Dip recipe recently. And it is so so good with this wine. Click here for her recipe. And here to read about her.
Roberta Muir, Manager of The Sydney Seafood Market