Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanc 2018
The Secateurs shape bushvines during the winter pruning and are used to pick the ripe grapes in summer. The 2018 spent time on its lees in concrete tanks and old casks, which gives incredible texture and plate weight to the wine. The aromas are flinty with honey, orange blossom and white stone fruit notes.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Drought conditions followed by a cool harvest season produced a stunning version of Adi Badenhorst’s entry-level chenin. He took an unusual approach in 2018, harvesting the fruit over the course of 12 days and adding each day’s fruit to the already-fermenting musts. All of it was whole-bunch pressed, and one-quarter was fermented in old casks, the rest in tanks. Left on its lees for seven months with occasional stirring, the final wine is as deep and rich in flavor as its yellow hue predicts: It moves from waxy apple flavors to mango, wildflower honey and tangerine. It feels all of a piece, bright acidity holding the flavors taut and firm, a large-boned chenin fit for a crown roast of pork. Best Buy
Bits and pieces of other grapes, mostly Palomino and Colombard, find their way into this
old wood-aged, Chenin-based blend. Exotic, yet subtle, with some structure from 15% skin contact and layers of honey, citrus and spice. 2018-23. Alcohol: 13%
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.
Literally meaning "the black land," Swartland takes its name from the endangered, indigenous "renosterbos" (translating to rhino bush), which used to be plentiful enough to turn the entire landscape a dark color certain during times of year. The district, attracting some of the most adventurous and least interventionist winemakers, excels in robust and full-bodied reds as well as quality fortified wines.
Unquestionably one of the most diverse grape varieties, Chenin Blanc can do it all. It shines in every style from bone dry to unctuously sweet, oaked or unoaked, still or sparkling and even as the base for fortified wines and spirits. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Somm Secret—Landing in South Africa in the mid 1800s, today the country has double the acreage of Chenin Blanc planted compared to France. There is also a new wave of dedicated producers committed to restoring old Chenin vines.