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Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanc 2013

Chenin Blanc from South Africa
  • WW92
  • W&S90
0% ABV
  • WS90
  • RP92
  • WS90
  • RP91
  • RP89
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Winemaker Notes

South African Chenin Blanc is unfortunately often overcropped, resulting in wines that are pleasant, but don't have much character. Not so with this delicious Chenin from A.A. Badenhorst. They kept the gulpability, but the aromas of pear and honeysuckle are textbook Chenin. Its flavors sit somewhere between the refreshing citrus of Sauvignon Blanc and the roundness of Chardonnay, making it the perfect everyday white.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
A shining star in the quiet world of Chenin Blancs, 2013 Secateurs by Badenhorst Family Wines brings the varietal back into global focus. Beautifully balanced with bracing minerality and core fruits; some ripe honey dew comes into the picture as the wine finishes with a crisp bite. There is just a hint of sugar which makes the wine a prime candidate for Asian chicken salad with pickled scallions, toasted sesame seeds and a dab of chili oil. Don't you think that is time to rekindle your love for Chenin Blanc? (Tasted: March 27, 2015, San Francisco, CA)
W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
It has the generous, waxy texture of the variety, the chew of the fruit skin, along with hints of lanolin that make it a natural partner to chevre.
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Badenhorst

Badenhorst

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Badenhorst, South Africa
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AA Badenhorst Family Wines are grown, made and matured on Kalmoesfontein farm in the Swartland appellation of South Africa. The 28 hectares of old bushvines grow in the Siebritskloof part of the Paardeberg mountain.

The property is owned by the dynamic and good-looking cousins Hein and Adi Badenhorst. They are originally from Constantia. Their grandfather was the farm manager of Groot Constantia for 46 years. Their fathers were born there and farmed together in Constantia, during the days when people still ate fresh vegetables and Hanepoot grapes, drank Cinsault and there were a lot less traffic lights and hippies still had a presence. Together these two have restored a neglected cellar on the farm that was last used in the 1930s to make natural wines in the traditional manner.

South Africa

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With an important wine renaissance is in full swing, impressive red and white bargains abound in South Africa. The country has a particularly long and rich history with winemaking, especially considering its status as part of the “New World.” In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century.

Today, however, South Africa is increasingly responsible for high-demand, high-quality wines—a blessing to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot. But the Benguela Current from Antarctica provides brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening of grapes. Similarly, cooler, high-elevation vineyard sites throughout South Africa offer similar, favorable growing conditions.

South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for red-fruit-driven, spicy, earthy reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following close behind.

Chenin Blanc

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Responsible for some of the world’s highest quality white wines, Chenin Blanc doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. Unquestionably at its best in its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin Blanc can do it all—from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still or sparkling. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Chenin Blanc is planted in California, namely in the Clarksburg AVA but also very widely planted in South Africa, where it is occasionally labeled as “Steen.”

In the Glass

Chenin Blanc ranges from austere to richly sweet, with aromas of McIntosh apple, honey, beeswax, jasmine, hay, and quince. When grown in warmer regions, Chenin Blanc develops richer, tropical-fruit flavors, such as pineapple and melon, as well as ripe stone fruit. Often these wines carry some residual sugar.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Chenin Blanc has the structure, austerity, and chalky acidity to work with antipasti or unadorned seafood, such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food.

Sommelier Secret

There are several appellations throughout the Loire Valley devoted to producing different styles of Chenin Blanc. Vouvray, Saumur, Anjou, and Savennieres are known for excellent dry and off-dry wines; Vouvray, along with Montlouis, Bonnezeaux, and Quarts de Chaume, produces glorious late-picked sweet wines whose high sugar levels are offset by Chenin Blanc’s hallmark acidity. Sparkling Crèmant de Loire, Saumur, and Vouvray provide delightfully affordable and flavorful alternatives to Champagne.

STC446250_2013 Item# 127541