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Vinum Africa Chenin Blanc 2003

Chenin Blanc from South Africa
    0% ABV
    • WE90
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    0% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Vineyards & Harvest: This mature, prime vineyard is located on the footslopes of the magnificent Helderberg Mountain, facing the ocean, in a South-Westerly and South-Easterly orientation. It consistently produces some of the finest Chenin grapes in the Stellenbosch Region.

    The grapes were de-stemmed, gently pressed in a pneumatic bag press, then the juice settled in chilled stainless steel tanks prior to fermentation, partially in small French and American oak Left on the lees for 4 months, with regular battonnage , ultimate freshness was preserved, whilst developing considerable complexity and depth in the wine. Bottled young, after 5 months maturation, the wine retains fruit and aromatic concentration: the exact qualities you'd expect from beautiful old vines.

    Tasting Notes: The nose hints at the wonderful elegance of this wine. White petals, citrus crispness, gentle vanilla, spicy cinnamon. The palate unfolds layers of fresh lime, deep, abundant rich fruitiness, and tingling spices -all wrapped in harmonious notes of mellow French oak. In essence, it has immense personality. Aromatic, fresh, intense and fruity; a wonderfully balanced combination of the finer attributes of good Cape Chenin.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Vinum Africa

    Vinum Africa

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    Vinum Africa , South Africa
    Vinum Africa brings together for the first time 4 passionate wine minds, from contrasting corners of the world, balancing different nationalities, wits and cultures. The overlapping common ground is incarnated in the form of their friendship and their wines. Innovation often comes from creative destruction. Consequently, they like to break down unnecessary barriers and formalities, and create off-beat wines with down to earth and novel or curious objectives.

    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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    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.

    WBO30011940_2003 Item# 82000