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Chenin Blanc

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Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc is from the heart of the French Loire Valley. Chenin blanc is a white wine grape variety, and is also known by the term "Pineau de la Loire". Chenin Blanc produces wines high in acidity and can be used to create sparkling wines, or dessert wines. In South Africa, Chenin Blanc is the most grown grape type in the region. It is said that Jan van Riebeeck first grew the variety in the country. The Chenin blanc variety is said to have its roots in the Anjou wine region during the ninth century and was then introduced in the region of Touraine centuries later. Soils that contain high clay levels are typically great locations to plant the variety. Chenin Blanc creates strong dessert wines that typically need to mature and age. Chenin Blanc is typically ripe and ready to harvest late in the year, however, the buds on the vine grow early. If the Chenin Blanc is grown in a cool region, it can create a sweeter wine. Sparkling wines are often created with Chenin blanc grapes and pairs very nicely with food. Dry versions of the wine pair well with fresh and light dishes, such as fish or salads. Sweeter types of the Chenin blanc wines are great with rich dishes or with heavy and rich foods, including pate or sauces that are typically creamy. Wines including Chenin Blanc crafted in South Africa and other parts of the globe tend to have sweet fruit aromas, including flavors of banana or guava.

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Alexandre Monmousseau Gaudrelle Vouvray Reserve Personelle 2010 (half-bottle)

Alexandre Monmousseau Gaudrelle Vouvray Reserve Personelle 2010 is made from 100 percent Chenin Blanc

Fine Chenin Blanc typicity, with aromas of ripe apples and honeyed notes. Rich, smooth, rounded palate with great structure and weight. Has the acidity to support ageing for 10 years.

Review:

"A luscious sweet wine, very honeyed and liquorous. As a complete contrast, the wine has that intense acidity that is the hallmark of Loire sweet wines. The combination is a fragrant nectar that will benefit from aging. — R.V."

Wine Enthusiast (June 2013), 91 pts

 Wine Enthusiast: 91
Alexandre Monmousseau Gaudrelle Vouvray Reserve Personelle 2015 (half-bottle)

Alexandre Monmousseau Gaudrelle Vouvray Reserve Personelle is made from 100 percent Chenin Blanc

Fine Chenin Blanc typicity, with aromas of ripe apples and honeyed notes. Rich, smooth, rounded palate with great structure and weight. Has the acidity to support ageing for 10 years.



Babylons Peak Chenin Blanc 2020

Babylons Peak Chenin Blanc is made from 100 percent Chenin Blanc.

Babylon's Peak winery, situated on the highest weathered granite slopes of the Paardeberg Mountain, is privately owned by the Basson family who has passed down the tradition, passion and art of winemaking over four generations. Predominantly low-yield dryland bushvines are selected to produce these excellent wines with distinctive character.


The Chenin Blanc grapes were picked from very old dryland bushvine vineyards. The vineyard grows on weathered granite soils, contributing to the flavor of the grapes and mineral character of the wine. Production is limited to 5 tons/ha.
The grapes were harvest by hand at 22.1°B. The grapes were destalked and lightly crushed. Only the first 450 litres free-run juice per ton were fermented in stainless steel tanks at a cold temperature (10-12°C) for 21 days. The wines was left on the fermentation lees until bottling.

A crisp, fresh and fruity Chenin Blanc from low-yield dryland bushvines.

Pairs with salads, seafood, chicken and other light dishes. The perfect wine for every occasion.




Gaudrelle Cremant de Loire Sparkling Brut NV

Made from 50% chenin blanc and 50% chardonnay

It is an interesting experience as a sparkling wine for people who want to have a fine and elegant wine comparable to Champagne for a very good price.

This methode traditionnelle sparkling wine is aged for minimum 18-24 months in cave before disgorging. The dosage is 12 g/l residual sugar and the wine is aged for minimum 3 months after disgorging .

Review:


"The two sparkling wines should not be missed. They're both terrific examples of how good sparkling Vouvray can be. Both are 100% Chenin Blanc cuvees. Even better is the slightly richer, more honey and lemon-scented and flavored non-vintage Cremant de Loire. A blend of equal parts Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay aged for a minimum of 18 to 24 months in their cellars before disgorgement, this is a real beauty and a superb wine. Unfortunately, just under 100 cases are imported to the United States." -Wine Advocate 92 pts


 Wine Advocate: 92
Gaudrelle Monmousseau Clos le Vigneau Vouvray 2017

Clos le Vigneau Vouvray is made from 100% Chenin Blanc

The wine is off dry in style with honey, earth and apricot notes. Wines from the town of Vouvray have been known to age well for 40 years. This particular bottling should hold for at least 5-7 years. This Loire Valley white wine from France is perfect on a warm spring day.

Review:

"The 2017 Vouvray Clos Le Vigneau comes all from a single lieu-dit (Clos Le Vigneau) and is 100% Chenin Blanc brought up all in tank. This medium-bodied, rounded, off-dry white offers up beautiful notes of peach, honeyed apple, and citrus-like aromas and flavors. I love its purity, it has good acidity, and it’s a brilliant white that’s going to shine for at least 4-5 years, and I suspect much longer. There’s no need to delay gratification though."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 91 pts

 91 Points
Kasteelberg Chenin Blanc 2018

Kasteelberg Chenin Blanc is made from 100 percent Chenin Blanc.

The Kasteelberg range of wines celebrates the discovery of the Riebeek Valley and the Kasteelberg mountains in 1661. Kasteelberg stands sentinel over the fertile valley below. From the slopes of the mountains, hand-selected grapes are expertly crafted with care to produce rare and expressive wines.

Limited release, single-vineyard Chenin Blanc from hand-selected grapes from the foothills of the majestic Kasteelberg Mountain, Kasteelberg Chenin Blanc embodies excellent craftsmanship that transforms the harsh Swartland terroir into the pinnacle of our winemakers’ art.

Together with the age-old tradition of Dry Land viticulture, it resulted in an elegant, aromatic and richly textured wine, with characteristics typical to Chenin Blanc grown under these conditions. Citrus, lemon zest, ripe apple and tropical flavors are only some of the flavors that charm the nose. The palate follows through with flavors of melon, a touch of spice and well-integrated wood for exceptional balance and a luxurious, lingering finish.

Once harvested, the grapes are hand-sorted, de-stemmed & crushed into temperature-controlled gravitational drainers. Only the free-run juice is chilled and settled overnight. The juice is then racked off into new, 300 L, oak barrels (50% French oak, 50% Hungarian oak) and wild yeast fermented in the barrels. Fermentation is temperature controlled and lasted around 22 days. The wine is then matured in the oak barrel on the gross lees for 12 months before being racked off, filtered and bottled. After bottling the wine is further bottle-matured for at least 6 months before release.

Review:


"This old-vine Chenin is made with fruit from a 1982 vineyard on the lower slopes of the Kasteelberg. Rich, leesy and slightly dominated by its 50% new wood, but this has the concentration and focus to age well in bottle. Honeyed, spicy intensity is complemented by racy, chiselled acidity. 2021-25"

- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Report), 91 pts


 91 Points
Keermont Fleurfontein 2017 (half bottle)

Keermont Fleurfontein is made from 60% Sauvignon and 40% Chenin Blanc.

An attractive autumn yellow gold color, powerful apple, lime and melons on the nose with light oak and nut aromas, palate defined by a central core of fresh acidity which balances the sweetness and layers of fruit and rich lease. Drink now through 2020.

All grapes used in producing this wine were grown on Keermont Vineyards. Bottling was carried out by hand without filtration, so if you are lucky you may find a little lees in the bottom of your bottle.

The wine is produced by pinching the stems of the grapes while they hang on the vine. This stops the translocation of fluids into and out of the grapes and allows them to slowly dry out on the vine. The raisins are harvested a few weeks later and the syrupy juice is squeezed from them with a hard pressing process. The syrup ferments in barrel and is left to mature for 12 months. Total production was just one barrel yielding 580 bottles.

 


Review:

"Light gold. Pure and refined in character, this sweet wine (230 g/L RS) offers a fine, rich perfume that soars from the glass. It shows seductively sweet rich, ripe stone fruit on a creamy palate. Good acidity keeps the wine lively on the finish. This 100% Sauvignon Blanc sweet wine is made by crimping the stem to force dessication, then dried on the vine for 3-4 weeks. It’s aged 18 months in 30-40% new barriques, some of Hungarian origin. 11% alc."

- International Wine Review (January 2019), 93 pts



"From the first sniff on the nose, you can tell that the 2017 Fleurfontein has that "wow factor." Jumping out of the glass, there are aromas of rich and sticky stone fruits, with an essence of dried pineapple and golden raisin plus an intense floral bouquet. The palate is lusciously sweet with a focus on floral and tropical fruit tones. The finish is long and lively with a fresh, clean dried apricot flavor. Yum! This wine was created by twisting the stems of the bunches over a one- to two-month period, destroying the water and nutrient pathways to the grapes so that they shrivel and dry naturally on the vine. 2,400 bottles were made of this sweet and delicious wine. - Anthony Mueller"

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 93 pts


 Wine Advocate: 93 93 Points
Keermont Fleurfontein 2018 (half-Bottle)

Keermont Fleurfontein is made from 60% Sauvignon and 40% Chenin Blanc.

An attractive autumn yellow gold color, powerful apple, lime and melons on the nose with light oak and nut aromas, palate defined by a central core of fresh acidity which balances the sweetness and layers of fruit and rich lease. Drink now through 2020.

All grapes used in producing this wine were grown on Keermont Vineyards. Bottling was carried out by hand without filtration, so if you are lucky you may find a little lees in the bottom of your bottle.

The wine is produced by pinching the stems of the grapes while they hang on the vine. This stops the translocation of fluids into and out of the grapes and allows them to slowly dry out on the vine. The raisins are harvested a few weeks later and the syrupy juice is squeezed from them with a hard pressing process. The syrup ferments in barrel and is left to mature for 12 months. Total production was just one barrel yielding 580 bottles.

 


Review:


"The 2018 Fleurfontein has a lovely bouquet of tangerine, marmalade, honeysuckle and almond aromas that display wonderful intensity. The palate is very well balanced with a viscous texture (very Sauternes-like) and a harmonious custard tart and tangerine finish. Gorgeous! - Neal Martin."


- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2019), 95 pts



 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 95
Keermont Riverside Chenin Blanc 2017

A polished light yellow gold colour, this wine has a bouquet of citrus blossom with hazelnut, lemon grass and butterscotch undertones. The wine has a soft sweet entry with a racy linear acidity. Ripe citrus and stone fruit flavours evolve into a lovely lingering dry earthy finish. This is a textured white wine with layers of flavour.  

   Review:


"Subtle bouquet of orange blossom, cling peach, and beeswax. Taut and focused, revealing dried orange peel and apricot pit on a dense, mineral like palate. Sourced from the oldest vineyard on the farm, planted in 1971-2, it’s a selection of the best 500L barrels. About 250 cs produced. 13.5% alc."- International Wine Review (January 2019), 93 pts

"From vines planted at 250m next to the Blaauwklippen River back in 1971, this undemonstrative but utterly convincing Chenin needs a little time in the glass to unfold, like a fern in spring. When it does, you’ll find classic wet stone and apple aromas with a lick of honey. The palate is intense, deep and stony, subtle in articulation with a beeswax richness haunting its orchard fruit, while its vinosity brings food-friendliness. It's hard to better this for purity and classicism. Drinking Window 2019 - 2023."- Decanter (February 2019), 93 pts


 Wine Advocate: 93
Keermont White Blend Terrasse 2016

Keermont White Blend is made from 39% Chenin Blanc (34% Riverside parcel - 26% Low Road Parcel and 5% Bobbejaan parcel), 34% Sauvignon Blanc (Uitkyk parcel), 14% Viognier (Cottage Lane parcel) and 13% Chardonnay (Low Road Parcel).


A polished light yellow gold color, this wine has a bouquet of citrus blossom with hazelnut, lemon grass and butterscotch undertones. The wine has a soft sweet entry with a racy linear acidity. Ripe citrus and stone fruit flavours evolve into a lovely lingering dry earthy finish. This is a textured white wine with layers of flavour. 


"The 2016 Keermont Terrasse underwent a little skin contact and was barrel-fermented in 225- and 500-liter barrels with around 10% new oak for 12 months. It has a fresh bouquet of white peach, honeysuckle and a touch of melted candle wax. The palate is well balanced, considering that Alex Starey said it was the first vintage that endured drought problems (hence the higher percentage of Sauvignon Blanc), offering grass clipping, gooseberry and nettle toward the finish. Very fine. - Neal Martin"

- Vinous (August 28th 2018), 90 pts


"Always a crowd pleaser, the Terrasse shows very appealing white stone fruit, lemon curd and floral scents. Softly textured with good backbone and firm acidity complementing riper stone fruit and citrus flavors. A blend of 39% Chenin Blanc, 34% Sauvignon blanc, 14% Viognier and 13% Chardonnay fermented and aged in used 500L barrels for 12 months. Lees stirred only during fermentation then left to sit on the lees.13% alc."

- International Wine Review (January 2019), 91 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 90 International Wine Review: 91
Keermont White Blend Terrasse 2017

Keermont White Blend is made from 53% Chenin Blanc, 20% Sauvignon Blanc and 13% Chardonnay .


A polished light yellow gold color, this wine has a bouquet of citrus blossom with hazelnut, lemon grass and butterscotch undertones. The wine has a soft sweet entry with a racy linear acidity. Ripe citrus and stone fruit flavours evolve into a lovely lingering dry earthy finish. This is a textured white wine with layers of flavour. 


"Alex Starey is better known for his reds than his whites, but this cuvée of Chenin Blanc with 45% Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne (the last two included for the first time) is wonderful too. Very much a southern Rhône style, it's savoury and herbal, with notes of honeysuckle, stone fruit and citrus, deftly framed by oak. 2020-24"

- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Report), 94 pts

 Wine Advocate: 91 94 Points
Riebeek Chenin Blanc 2020

Riebeek Chenin Blanc is made from 100 percent Chenin Blanc.

As the unofficial drink of the Riebeek Valley, the Riebeek Chenin Blanc is the perfect every day wine that offers uncomplicated quality for the novice and connoisseur alike.

Packed with upfront tropical fruit, the nose charms with an abundance of guava and gooseberries. The pallets follows through with fruit flavors, balanced by a crisp acid to ensure a fresh and fruity style of wine.

Grapes came from both bosstok and trellised vines with some of the vineyards as old as 46 years. Fermentation was done at lower than usual temperatures to capture the fresh fruit flavors.

Very accessible and suited to almost every occasion, the Riebeek Chenin Blanc never disappoints.

Royal Chenin Blanc Old Vines Steen 2020

The Royal Chenin Blanc Old Vines Steen is 100 percent Chenin Blanc.

As the unofficial drink of the Riebeek Valley, Chenin Blanc is the perfect every day wine that offers uncomplicated quality for the novice and connoisseur alike. Packed with upfront melon fruit, the nose charms with an abundance of guava and gooseberries as well as the signature hint of honey. The palate follows through with fruit flavors balanced by a crisp acid to ensure a fresh and fruity style of wine.

Enjoy well-chilled as a lovely crisp glass on its own but ideal for al fresco dining and with light summer fare. Beautiful with salads, anti pasti and seafood.

 

Short Street Chenin Blanc 2018

Short Street Chenin Blanc is made from 100% Chenin Clanc

Situated at the very heart of South Africa’s Swartland wine region, Short Street is the shortest street in the Riebeek Valley. A melting pot of creative energy, gourmet fare, farm fresh produce and the vibrant, uncomplicated lifestyle of the people, Short Street captures the essence of the Swartland, where passion, creativity and simplicity are distilled into a captivating experience.

Short Street Chenin Blanc is an aromatic and richly textured wine, with intense tropical flavors, typical of Chenin Blanc grown in the Swartland. The palate is a delicate balance of apricots, almonds, citrus and a hint of minerality for a luxurious finish.

To ensure an array of layered fruit flavors, only free run juice was fermented long & slow under cool conditions. After fermentation the wine is matured in French oak for 3 – 6 months.

Served well-chilled, the wine is exceptionally food-friendly, enhancing enjoyment without masking food character. Especially well-suited to decadent spicy food like, aromatic Thai green curry.

Viejo Isaias Don Isaias Sparkling NV

Viejo Isaias Don Isaias Sparkling is made from 50% Chardonnay and 50% Chenin Blanc

Charmat method.

The wine is produced from grapes that grow in the highlands of the Mendoza River. Its second alcoholic fermentation with a prolonged contact with yeast brings complex aromas of stone fruits, such as white peach, and citrus aromas such as pink grapefruit and tropical pineapple. The palate reveals good acidity and freshness.

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