South African wine producers appear to be having a hard time of it at the moment with heavy covid-19 restrictions, based on wine media and industry webinars made available by the Institute of Masters of Wine here. Chenin blanc is a South African white wine paradigm and this wine from Badenhorst in Swartland is a good example of it. It opens to aromas of damp honey, dew and green melon. The palate is dry and full bodied with trademark chenin blanc high acidity. This wine can be approached now or over the next 5 years or more. Rating: Good. Website: https://aabadenhorst.com/. Reviewed: June 2020.
This is a good Vouvray from Damien Pinon. White gold colour, it opens to aromas of lemon and orange rind. The palate has trademark chenin blanc rising acidity. The wine finishes dry but with a hint of residual sugar typical of Vouvray. Rating: Good. Abv: 14.0. Website: pinondamien.wixsite.com/vouvray. Reviewed: April 2020.
This is a very savoury chenin blanc from Mount Abora in South Africa. It opens to tertiary aromas of toast, earth and lemons. The palate has racy acidity and is quite a complex rendition of chenin blanc, and South African chenin blanc, in particular. This is a deliciously complex wine that will suit current drinking. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $33. Website: abora.co.za.
This is a both a very good and classical interpretation of Vouvray from Marc Brédif. In the glass, there are typical chenin blanc aromas of lemon, earth, stone and meal. The palate has racy and fresh acidity, a medium body and is dry with a touch of sugar weight. I could drink this all day and, for those less familiar with the style, it should appeal to those who like dry Australian rieslings. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 12.5%. Price: $30.
This is a delicious Anjou blanc from Thierry Germain in the Loire Valley. The label is simple too – “Anjou blanc” needs to be at least 80% chenin blanc and many French producers leave it at the former regional description. This label helpfully states that’s what’s in it – i.e. chenin blanc. It has aromas of lemon, wool and yeast. The palate is very refreshing with high acidity and a yellow grapefruit expression. It calls out for seafood. Rating: Good. Abv: 12%. Price: $28.