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Delaire Graff Chenin Blanc 2013

Chenin Blanc from Swartland, South Africa
  • W&S92
13.9% ABV
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13.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Light golden wheat color. Layered expressions of citrus andtropical fruit with subtle layers of honey and almonds in thebackground. Balanced and superbly structured, the flavours arecomplimented by a delicate minerality.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
It's luscious, with orange freshness and tangy depths of flavor, the wine's earthiness lending a dark and meaty tone.
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Delaire Graff

Delaire Graff

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Delaire Graff, Swartland, South Africa
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Delaire Graff Estate is situated in Stellenbosch in the heart of South Africa’s most historic and prestigious wine region. Founded by Simon van der Stel in 1679, Simon brought a sound knowledge of viticulture, the art of wine making – fostering a tradition that has grown from strength to strength through the centuries. In 1982 John Platter, well known wine writer, bought Delaire, then known as Avontuur. Looking at the magnificent view, he decided to rename the farm Delaire Estate, meaning “From the Sky”. Laurence Graff, Chairman of Graff Diamonds International acquired the estate in 2003 and vowed to transform it into South Africa’s most desirable art, hospitality and wine destination. Delaire Graff Estate aims for red wines that are big in structure with soft tannins and elegance, and white wines which capture the freshness of the harvest. With one of the most advanced cellars in the Southern Hemisphere, which became operational in 2008, in just three years the Estate can be comfortably rated as one of the top ten wine producers in South Africa.

Delaire, known for its high altitude vineyards, excellent soils and cooling sea breezes, is situated on the crest of the panoramic Helshoogte Mountain Pass, overlooking the Banhoek Valley. The 44 hectare vineyard is framed by the mighty Simonsberg and Groot Drakenstein Mountains. With its rugged mountain slopes, Delaire experiences variances in altitude which range from approximately 300 to 500 m above sea level. This creates microclimates conducive to making multi-layered, complex wines. Winemaker Bruwer Raats says, "We farm with nature as our partner and here on Delaire, we are blessed with mainly Hutton and some Clovelly soils".

Swartland

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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.

Chenin Blanc

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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. While most would agree it reigns supreme when from its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin is the most planted variety in South Africa. California’s Clarksburg appellation is also winning more notoriety for its Chenin.

In the Glass

Chenin's drier versions commonly have characteristics of passion fruit, lemon, quince, green apple, saffron and chamomile while sweeter version express aromas and flavors such as yellow pear, white peach, persimmon, melon, ginger and honeysuckle. When aged in oak, qualities like meringue and brioche can be found. Sparkling versions often have yellow apple, ginger and floral notes.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Chenin blanc has the chalky acidity to work with light seafood such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food. The sparkling versions such as Saumur Mousseux, Vouvray Petillant and Crémant de Loire make amazing aperitif options that won’t bruise the pocketbook.

Sommelier Secret

South Africa actually has double the amount of Chenin blanc planted compared to France. It is believed that either the Dutch navigator, Jan van Riebeeck, brought the grape to Cape Town in 1655 or the Huguenots fleeing France brought it in 1685. Either way, the South Africans have favored it for many centuries and make it in almost every style. Today a new wave of dedicated producers has committed to restoring old Chenin vines and finding the most ideal new spots for this prized variety.

MSW30124955_2013 Item# 135628