De Morgenzon Chenin Blanc 2009
Chenin Blanc from South Africa
#93 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011
Pale, bright gold. Gentle, yet powerful nose simply oozes with class. Notes of citrus, lime and honey with some toasty nuts and rich vanilla. Well weighted mouth with layers of flavor along the lines suggested by the nose. Lime and honey tend to show more with some time in the mouth. Smooth, effortless flow across the palate. Still has a fresh, lively acidity that highlights the flavors. Super drink now yet has all the potential to develop over the next two to three years. Or more!
The Wine Advocate - "The 2009 Reserve Chenin Blanc (the renamed Chenin Blanc) has a light golden hue. The nose is muted at first but opens up to offer honeysuckle and candied orange peel aromas. The palate is very pure and well balanced with good acidity, apricot, Clementine and a touch of lime zest that leads to a very poised finish. This is a consummate Chenin Blanc, although I suspect that the 2010 will be even better. Drink now-2017. "
Wine Spectator - "Ripe and concentrated, with brioche and toasted hazelnut notes leading the way for now, while the core of fig, quince and ginger waits in reserve. Pure and long, with the quince echoing on the finish. Drink now through 2014. 150 cases imported. "
International Wine Cellar - "Full yellow-gold color. Wild aromas of orange blossom, honeysuckle, peppermint and clove oil. Very rich, exotic and spicy, with superb chewy depth of flavor. Already showy and sexy but a bit more time in bottle will bring more complexity and refinement. Finishes with impressive length. This is fermented with wild yeasts and the owners play baroque music in the vines 24 hours a day."
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De Morgenzon Winery
De Morgenzon is Dutch for "the morning sun," a fitting name for this boutique property high on the Stellenboschkloof, which is the first to be touched by the rising sun's rays. De Morgenzon's high altitude vineyards command sweeping views of Table Mountain and Cape Point, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Embracing the philosophy that a biodiverse and ecologically sensitive environment produces infinitely better grapes, proprietors Wendy and Hylton Appelbaum have established De Morgenzon as a 91 hectare garden interspersed with 55 hectares of carefully tended vineyards, where abundant wildflowers flourish between the vines. The vineyards are currently farmed naturally, and the estate is in the process of converting to organic farming. View all De Morgenzon Wines
About South AfricaView a map of South Africa wineries South AfricaRelated Links:
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A long history of growing grapes and making wine, but less of a history on exporting it, and even lesser on the quality aspect. At the turn of the century (1900, that is), a surplus of wine in South Africa created a hierarchy of cooperatives, the biggest and best known being KWV. This organization seemed to favor quantity over quality and had most control over wines and vineyards until the late 1980's. Now, with a bit more competition, quality is coming around. Yet, South African wine was not even seen in American wine stores until the mid-1990's – the trade embargo on the country for their racial apartheid laws kept South African wine out of the US. When apartheid fell, so did the embargo, and SA bottles began showing up on US shelves.
White wine has always been the cash crop of South Africa, with much of it distilled to make brandy. More white than red is planted, much of it the Steen variety – known elsewhere in the world as Chenin Blanc. Good producers are making top quality dry wines from this grape. Another grape gaining some raves is Sauvignon Blanc, producing whites that are dry and crisp, yet rounder than many of its Southern Hemisphere counterparts. For reds, the top grapes are Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon (& blends) and Pinotage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends was once the favorite and most-produced, but Shiraz is taking over as wineries crank out high quality wines from the variety. Pinotage, which used to be a grape only your mother could love, has improved dramatically and is often as delicious as it is distinctive. The most popular regions of the country include Stellenbosch and Paarl.
About South AfricaRelated Links:
Notable FactsWhite wine has always been the cash crop of South Africa, with much of it distilled to make brandy. More white than red is planted, the majority of it is Steen – known elsewhere in the world as Chenin Blanc. Good producers are making top quality dry wines from this grape. Another grape the critics rave aboutSauvignon Blanc, producing whites that are dry and crisp, yet rounder than many of its Southern Hemisphere counterparts. For reds, the top grapes are Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon (& blends) and Pinotage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends were once the favorite and most-produced, but Shiraz is taking over as wineries crank out high quality wines from the variety. Pinotage, a man-made crossing between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, has improved dramatically and is often as delicious as it is distinctive. In describing red wines in South Africa, smoky and meaty are two terms that are common. Regionally, the most popular wine-making areas include Stellenbosch and Paarl.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.