South African Chenin is the Ideal Winter White


I tasted through a selection of Chenin Blanc for #CheninBlancDay last June. Right off the bat I knew we had to bring these wines to the Snooth audience.  I was hoping to do it in the winter months for one very good reason: South African Chenin Blanc retains startlingly robust fruits (more than enough to stand up to warming winter dishes), while maintaining a strong undercurrent of acidity. Alcohol levels are kept in check which isn’t often true when drinking fulsome white wines. These are ideal winter white wines – especially when serving to a crowd. There’s value here for all to enjoy. This is a difficult combination to find.

Chenin Blanc is truly recognized as a signature variety in South Africa. There are troves of old vines located across several of the country’s regions, all with their own unique bent. Click here to get your own set of six in time for the December holidays. Read on for my notes on the wines in this special set of winter whites.

Thelema Mountain Vineyard Sutherland Sauvignon Blanc Elgin 2014

A bit of herbal lime zest and fresh acidity, mineral notes and sea breeze driven aromas. This is dry and juicy on the palate with green apple and pear, a bit of fresh grapefruit, fresh grass and a bright melon finish with tart citrus and dried herbal notes.

De Wetshof Limestone Hill Chardonnay Robertson 2016

Juicy, honeyed apple and floral peach aromas. Pleasantly spiced with just a touch of honey on the palate with fresh acidity, citrus fruits of grapefruit and stone fruit notes of peach, tart green notes of lime zest and a pleasant herbal finish that’s earthy and lengthy and has a touch of cut flowers that sustains past the fruit.

Glenelly Glass Collection Unoaked Chardonnay Stellenbosch 2016

Fresh and lively green apple and melon aromas with a touch of spice. tart and fresh acidity, with tart melon, green apple, pear and lemon notes. A firm, controlled wine with good balance.

The Wolftrap Western Cape 2016

Lovely aromatic notes of floral white peach and melon. This is creamy on the palate with a nice heft, nice acidity and flavors of lime zest, a bit of peach, fresh melon and a tart citrus zest and spiced toast note towards the mid palate with a slow long finish that’s wooden and earthy.

Badenhorst Family Wines Secateurs Chenin Blanc Swartland 2016

Steely lemon and mineral driven aromas. Well balanced, fresh fruit notes of lemon, green apple, peach and dried apricot, a touch herbal and a bit juicy. This brings good acidity, steely minerality and a bit of a citrus pith note towards the finish that adds another dimension to the wine before it settles into an earthy, toasted and wooded note.

Raats Original Unwooded Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch 2016

Mineral-driven sea breeze, lime leaf and melon notes on the nose. Pleasant, warm notes of citrus, white blossom and peach, green apple and herbal spice. a bit of dried fruit, good medium-plus acidity and a solid, bold and assertive palate that is herbal and steely towards the finish.

Click here to get your set of six now! Offer ends on December 31st, 2017.

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