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Protea Chenin Blanc 2012

Chenin Blanc from South Africa
  • TP90
13% ABV
  • WW89
  • WW90
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

To make this Chenin Blanc, Protea's winemakers step smartly aside and allow the essence of the remarkable, too often underappreciated Chenin Blanc grape to arrive in the glass with rich fruit and verve. With hints of pear, citrus and honeysuckle this wine is created in a lighter, more accessible style.

And the unique and striking bottle with its paisley design is sure to make a statement on your table!

Critical Acclaim

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TP 90
Tasting Panel
This 100% Chenin Blanc, named after South Africa's national flower, is packaged in a unique paisley-covered bottle, painted with heavy metal-free ink. The liquid is delightful - a splash of lemon curd and peach plossom are cheerful palate greeters. Jasmine and lanolin come into play towards the middle and to the finish, lifted by its pretty, natural acidity.
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Protea

Protea

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Protea, South Africa
2012 Chenin Blanc
Protea makes wines that dare to be exotic and beautiful, in every way imaginable. You'll see this right away as you discover their uniquely crafted bottles made by designer Mark Eisen. The paisley and Cape Dutch themes on the bottles speak to Protea's South African roots, but more than that they transform the bottles from mere containers to objects of beauty and contemplation. A bottle of Protea won't just sit on your table, it will enliven the table – and probably spark more than a little conversation. The inspiration for the brand is the protea (PROH-tee-uh). It's South Africa's national flower, and it got its name from the shape-shifting Greek god Proteus. These wines are just as exotic and special as the name suggests.

South Africa

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An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. 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, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping 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 the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

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 earthy, gamey 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 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 also widely planted in South Africa, where it is occasionally labeled as “Steen,” and to a lesser extent in California.

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.

HOR83185_2012 Item# 123101

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