Circumstance Chenin Blanc 2021
This Chenin Blanc is from a windswept, south-facing vineyard which is 250m above and just two miles from the Atlantic. Yields are a miserly 5 tons per hectare. There is a minimalistic approach to winemaking which allows the flavours prevalent in that specific vineyard to express themselves in the wine.
The grapes are whole-bunch pressed, which ensures that juice is extracted in the gentlest way. The juice is fermented into older 600 litre barrels, using the wild yeast indigenous to the vineyard. This takes seven months and the wine is left on the lees for a further three months.
It is pale lemon in colour with a gently honeyed nose with elements of green apples and citrus. On the palate it has lovely weight and concentration with flavours of apple, apricot and citrus fruit. There is gently acidity balancing the fruit and lingering mineral finish. Extremely moreish and easy to drink but with enough structure to partner chicken, fish and Thai cuisine.
This comes from dry-farmed 60-year old bush vines grown on the Smuts Block, rooted in the rocky, granite seam outcrops that surface rarely in the otherwise deep, sandy loams between Table Mountain and Paarl.
The grapes are hand-harvested and naturally fermented using indigenous yeasts at the farm at Wildeberg, then aged for 12 months in new and older French barrels. There is a minimalistic approach to allow the site-specific energy of this fruit to shine.
Lemon/green in colour, this wine has an complex vinous nose, characteristic of old vines, with a whiff of straw and smoke. This leads into a concentrated mouthful of textured blood orange and mango with with racy acidity and an underlying minerality. South African Chenin at its best!