jamie goode's wine blog: Two stunning whites: South Africa and Spain

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Two stunning whites: South Africa and Spain

Thanks for all the comments on the first video blog. Really useful feedback - and for free! I appreciate it.

Now tonight, two stunning white wines in rather different styles. Actually, these wines are almost (but not quite) polar opposites. Both really good, but really different. Which is one of the reasons I think the notion of a 'best' wine is a bit silly. It depends on the intended use or context.

The FMC Forrester Meinert Chenin 2006 Stellenbosch, South Africa
This is perhaps South Africaís finest expression of Chenin blanc. Itís a big old wine with a mighty flavour impact, and comes mainly from low-yielding old bush vines planted in 1967, which is my vintage. Harvested at full maturity, the grapes are treated to a wild-yeast fermentation in new French oak 400 litre barrels, using late harvested botrytised Chenin as a blending wine. Maturation on the lees ensues, with a total of 10 months in the barrel. 9.7 g/litre residual sugar. This is powerful, viscous and concentrated, with sweet vanilla, herb, honey and spice notes. Itís very broad and attractive with an almost sweet tropical fruit quality and some warm, sweet creamy depth. Not really in a Loire style, but really intense and interesting. 93/100 (Tesco, Waitrose, Great Western Wine £16.95)

Terras Gauda AlbariŮo 2006 O Rosal, Rias Baixas
This is utterly brilliant. It has a beautifully precise aromatic nose with perfumed, slightly herby, ripe melon and lemony fruit. The palate is deliciously fresh with light, subtly grapefruity citrussy fruit along with some richer ripe melon notes. Great balance here to create a thrilling white wine thatís a perfect match for seafood dishes. 93/100 (Les Caves de Pyrene)

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At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Cru Master said...

Hi Jamie

On the topic of South African Chenin Blanc, I thought the following post may interest you:


Earlier this year I attended the Wine/Miele Professional Top Chenin Blanc Public Tasting - which showcased this years top ten Chenin Blanc's from South Africa.

The Ken Forrester was runner up in the challenge and a beautiful wine. However I thought there were other's just as good and even better at a more affordable price:

For instance the Bellingham The Maverick Chenin Blanc 2005.

Either way I think South African Chenin has a lot to offer and it's nice to see it getting some attention.

At 7:59 AM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

My favourite is the Rudera Robusto,although it is made in limited quantities.
Our first white wine,released next year Jamie,will be 90% chenin from 42 year old bush vines.
I think you will like it!!

At 5:07 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Cru master, thanks for the info- I'm a fan of Bellingham's Maverick.

Keith, I'm sure I will - don't think I've had the Rudera


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