The DI taste test South African Chenin Blanc

27 August, 2008
Page 49 
Hazendal Bushvine Chenin Blanc 2006, Stellenbosch

Abv 13.5; residual sugar 3.1g/l ; 30-year-old bush vines grown on sandy soil, no irrigation; grapes picked very ripe; yield 4-5 tonnes per ha; Ireland E11

Honeycomb colour. Honeyed lemon and pineapple on the nose with hints of rosemary and oregano. Dry, full and pithy flavours. Lemon sherbet with a crisp, mineral tang mid-palate. Good with salads, crab, mussels or lobster.

De Morgenzon Chenin Blanc 2005, Stellenbosch

Abv 14; residual sugar 6.8g/l; debut vintage of King of Chenin Teddy Hall; barrel fermented; grown on 5ha planted in 1970; John Platter Guide 5*; UK £16.99

Full, earthy, mineral aromas. Honeyed with nutty touches. Toasty and fleshy with pineapple and dried tropical fruits. Crisp acidity cuts through a pithy, lemon meringue finish. Shows real Vouvray-like qualities - one for the adventurous foodie.

Raats Chenin Blanc 2006, Stellenbosch

Abv 13.5; residual sugar 1.6g/l; John Platter Guide 4*; old vines on sandstone/decomposed granite soils; 91 points Wine Spectator; 1,300x12 bottles; UK £13.99

Rich, honeyed touches on a nose of peach and orange blossom. Full, dry palate that kicks off with peach and really opens out through pineapple, more peach and ripe melon on the finish, all balanced by complex layers of flinty minerals and freshening acidity. Finely balanced and elegant - good match with Mediterranean-style starters, sea bass or tuna.

Ken Forrester The FMC 2006, Stellenbosch

Abv 14.5; residual sugar 9.7g/l ; wild yeast fermented in new 400l French oak; old bush vines on Clovelly soil (sand & gravel on clay); 1500x6 bottles; UK £16.95

Deep burnt ochre/gold colour . Full, beeswax nose, baked lemon and stone fruits. Unctuous, toasty palate balanced by lively citrus acidity with orange mousse, apricot and vanilla . Residual sugar balanced by the effusive fruit and alcohol.

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