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Rudera Chenin Blanc 2004

Chenin Blanc from South Africa
    0% ABV
    • WS90
    • WS89
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    Winemaker Notes

    This wine is clear and bright gold with a green tinge. The citrus start with lime and develop in the mouth to grapefruit. Quince and apple flavours add to the complexity with the wood so well integrated that only a hint of vanilla is evident. A rich concentrated mouth-feel, flowery mid-palate, and layers of glorious tropical fruit culminate in a long, complex, lingering finish.

    The wine that has helped Teddy Hall win the South African Chenin Blanc challenge three years consecutively, and make him South African Winemaker of the Year. Made in true Loire Valley style, the wine uses only the free-run juice from hand-selected grapes, and is barrel fermented with six months spent on the lees to gain richness and depth of flavor. When tasted, layers of concentrated fruit (citrus, quince, apricot, green apple, grapefruit) and floral flavors mingle on the palate, and culminate in a lingering, spicy finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Rudera

    Rudera

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    Rudera, South Africa
    Rudera, is the brainchild of former Kanu winemaker Teddy Hall. The idea was said to be born one rainy evening in front of a soul-warming fire. It was there that Teddy decided to produce the best wine possible under his own flag, without cutting any corners at any time, regardless of the cost or effort.

    The Rudera range is small, and Teddy chose the varietals carefully, wanting to specialize and focus on just a few selections. Teddy wholeheartedly believes that both Chenin and Shiraz are the future of the South African wine industry, and feels that "South Africa can make wine that will be better, different, and more exciting than any in the world".

    The name Rudera is plural for "broken stone" in Latin. As he believes that "Great wines are made out there in the dirt," Teddy felt that calling his range Rudera was the appropriate reference to terroir, as it is the foundation to create exceptional wines. He manages all the vineyards himself and gives the grapes individual vine attention to ensure optimum quality. Only the finest grapes are hand-selected and used for making wine. Teddy employs a "minimum manipulation" approach that lets the wine reach new levels through its own inherent quality.

    South Africa

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    The South African wine renaissance is in full swing. Impressive red and white bargains abound. South Africa has a 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 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.

    YNG169222_2004 Item# 84150