Protea Chenin Blanc 2012
Chenin Blanc from South Africa
To make this Chenin Blanc, Protea's winemakers step smartly aside and allow the essence of the remarkable, too often underappreciated Chenin Blanc grape to arrive in the glass with rich fruit and verve. With hints of pear, citrus and honeysuckle this wine is created in a lighter, more accessible style.
And the unique and striking bottle with its paisley design is sure to make a statement on your table!
Tasting Panel - " This 100% Chenin Blanc, named after South Africa's national flower, is packaged in a unique paisley-covered bottle, painted with heavy metal-free ink. The liquid is delightful - a splash of lemon curd and peach plossom are cheerful palate greeters. Jasmine and lanolin come into play towards the middle and to the finish, lifted by its pretty, natural acidity. "
Protea makes wines that dare to be exotic and beautiful, in every way imaginable. You'll see this right away as you discover their uniquely crafted bottles made by designer Mark Eisen. The paisley and Cape Dutch themes on the bottles speak to Protea's South African roots, but more than that they transform the bottles from mere containers to objects of beauty and contemplation. A bottle of Protea won't just sit on your table, it will enliven the table – and probably spark more than a little conversation. The inspiration for the brand is the protea (PROH-tee-uh). It's South Africa's national flower, and it got its name from the shape-shifting Greek god Proteus. These wines are just as exotic and special as the name suggests. View all Protea Wines
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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.
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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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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.