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Marthinus Chenin Blanc


Originally from the Loire, Chenin Blanc produces an amazing array of wine styles, from bone-dry to honey-sweet, still to full sparkling. It’s a hugely versatile variety with high acidity – perfect for fresh dry whites.

In the 20th century, it was adopted by South Africa and took a shine to the warm climate. Previously used mostly for distillation into brandy, the grape is now producing some of the country’s tastiest whites. This is one from Frank Meaker, grandson of Paul Sauer, who was renowned for being founder of the Kanonkop estate, one of the finest wineries of all South Africa, as well as a leading politician.

Frank works at the Bovlei winery in Wellington, about a 20-minute drive north from the town of Paarl, at the foot of the majestic Hawekwa mountains. The fruit for the cellar’s wines comes from local growers, with whom Frank works very closely … choosing the best cultivars, assisting with the planting programme, the soil preparation and the yield control.

The grapes for this particular wine came from a 15-year-old vineyard on the southern slopes of the Hawekwa Mountains. They were all hand-picked in the cool early morning (to maintain freshness) and fermented at a low temperature to retain maximum fruit. The wine was left on its lees (the natural sediment produced during fermentation i.e. the dead yeast cells) for a few weeks to increase depth of flavour.

Sunday Times Wine Club Vintage Festival 2008, United Kingdom

Session 3 at the Vintage Festival April 2008 2008, United Kingdom

Type:Still White Wine Country:South Africa Appellation:Wellington WO
Grape Type:Chenin Blanc Drink Before:End of 2009 Style:Dry
Alcohol:12.5% Bottle Size:75cl Bottle Bottle Code:26406