Chenin Blanc and Grüner Veltliner

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Two nice wines, from two of my favourite white varieties. The first is an own-label from Berry Bros & Rudd. It’s a sort of better class of own label: Nikolaihof is one of Austria’s top producers. The second is from Mullineux, the current darlings of the South African wine scene, and it’s a lovely old vine Chenin. There’s something a bit mysterious about both Grüner and Chenin: they’re hard to define as grape varieties, because they are capable of such different styles. They are both serious varieties, though, and well worth exploring.

Berry’s Grüner Veltliner Federspiel 2013 Wachau, Austria
12% alcohol. Made for Berry’s by Nikolaihof, this comes from 45 year old unirrigated vines in the Im Weingebirge vineyard. It has a subtle creamy edge to the taut pear and citrus fruit. There are notes of ripe apple. Initially it just seems to be all about primary fruit with the hint of creaminess, but there are some mineral, dry detailed characters here too. Really intriguing and even has a hint of pepper. 90/100 (£16.95 BBR)

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Kloof Street Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2013 Swartland, South Africa
13% alcohol. From shale and granite soils, wild yeast ferment. Lively, fresh nose with some light citrus notes and also some broader, richer pear and grape characters with a hint of honey. Lovely apple and pear palate is quite broad and linear with a grapefruit edge hemming in the flavours. Very stylish. 90/100 (Was in stock at Berry Bros & Rudd but doesn’t seem to be at the moment, £12.89 Sawinesonline.co.uk, 2014 vintage available from Vincisive.co.uk)

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