De Morgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Broad and ripe in feel, with creamed pear, melon and yellow apple fruit flavors laced with white ginger and singed hazelnut notes. The long finish features gentle toast, allowing the fruit to play out.
Opening with a waxy nose with touches of oak and tropical fruits, the 2017 Reserve Chenin Blanc is softly mineral in the glass. Medium to full-bodied, the wine begins with white spiced tea flavors that linger through the mid-palate, offering a kiss of phenolic bitterness with elements of dusty flowers and stone fruit skin. It ends with a persistent, lingering waxy edge and mineral tension. Rating: 90+
South Africa’s most famous wine-producing district, Stellenbosch, surrounds the historic town with the same name; fine winemaking here dates back to the late 1600s. Its valleys of granite, sandstone and alluvial loam soils between the towering blue-grey mountains of Stellenbosch, Simonsberg and Helderberg have the capacity to produce beautiful wines from many varieties. The climate is warm Mediterranean, tempered by the cool Atlantic air of nearby False Bay.
Perhaps most well-known for its Pinotage and Bordeaux blends, Stellenbosch also produces noteworthy wines from Syrah, Chenin blanc, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc. The district’s wards—Banghoek, Bottelary, Devon Valley, Jonkershoek Valley, Papegaaiberg, Polkadraai Hills and Simonsberg-Stellenbosch—all produce distinctive wines from vines with relatively low yields.
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.