Tasting some interesting South African Chenin, with a video

raats granite block

Tasted some nice Chenins lately. It’s such an interesting and adaptable grape variety.

Raats Granite Block Chenin Blanc 2015 Coastal Region, South Africa
Very fruity mandarin and lime notes with some pear richness. Hints of herbs with a nice bright mineral edge to the fruit. Lovely precision to this bright wine with plenty of flavour but a focus on the fruity side of Chenin. 90/100

Intellego Chenin Blanc 2012 Swartland, South Africa
13% alcohol. Blend of two sites, one on granite and one on sandy clay over gravels, in the Swartland, and both are old bush vines. Whole bunch pressed into older French barriques and puncheons, spending 9 months on lees, bottled unfined and unfiltered. 350 cases. This is fresh and detailed with a spicy tangerine, apple and pear fruit quality. The acidity has a spicy, tangy quality to it. Vital and expressive, this is a really good Chenin that has developed beautifully. 93/100

reverie chenin blanc

Rêverie Chenin Blanc 2014 Swartland, South Africa
Made by Jacques de Klerk. 11.5% alcohol. So fresh, fine and detailed with lovely citrus, pear and ripe apple fruit. Linear and with keen acidity, and also a tiny bit of structure. There’s a delicate tangerine and lemon note here, but also some toasty hints. Very pure and precise, this is a serious Chenin. 93/100

Force Majeure Chenin Blanc 2015 Swartland, South Africa
From dry farmed bush vines with no enzymes, yeast or acid added. 12.5% alcohol. Lots of flavour here: ripe apples, lemons and spice, with some fruit sweetness and a bit of tangerine and grapefruit freshness. Lovely fruit with good acidity and beautiful spicy complexity. Such a delicious expression of Chenin, but not at all overblown. 93/100

Here’s a film of me tasting the Rêverie Chenin Blanc 2014:

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