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Cederberg Chenin Blanc 2010

Chenin Blanc from South Africa
  • W&S90
13% ABV
  • W&S90
  • WE89
  • W&S90
  • WE90
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This crisp, reductively made Chenin Blanc is in true Cederberg Style, showing a powerful nose of tropical melon, grapefruit and lemon peel. Five months of lees contact created a mouth tingling crispness with a lingering finish. Superb food compatibility.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
Sea air is the most prevalent scent in this wine. A subtle saline aroma that gets you salivating. There’s kiwi-berry fruit marked by herbal verbena notes, the wines’ viscosity aerated by high acidity. It has the potential to age for at least 5 years, but would be delicious now with a beat and goat cheese salad.
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Cederberg

Cederberg

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Cederberg, South Africa
At more than 3,200 feet above sea level, Cederberg Private Cellar is South Africa’s highest vineyard. A cool continental climate, where snow can fall on the vines in winter and northwesterly breezes fan them in the warm summers, combined with unpolluted air and crystal clear waters, make this dramatic landscape the ideal terroir for producing wines of nobility, power and grace.

The Nieuwoudt family has been handcrafting wines at the Cederberg vineyard for five generations. But today there is new excitement and energy at the property with David Nieuwoudt now at the helm. Nieuwoudt’s viticultural training and love of wine have resulted in wines with pronounced character and appeal.

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.

PIN304653_2010 Item# 108966