Posted on

White River Chenin Blanc 2007

Winner of an International Wine Challenge medal, this gloriously fresh Chenin Blanc sums up everything that’s so attractive about South Africa’s best-loved white. Chenin Blanc was brought to the Cape from the Loire by Huguenots fleeing France in the 17th century. It flourished and before long established itself as the country’s predominant variety.

The grape’s natural acidity ensures the wines retain a lively freshness even in South Africa’s relatively warm climate. White River is from the Bergsig Estate in Worcester, just across the Toitskloof mountains from Paarl and Stellenbosch. It’s beautiful countryside dominated by a mountainous backdrop and the sweeping Breede river. For the last 150 years the estate has been owned by the Lategan family.

A few years ago Pop Lategan handed over to his son De Wet who quickly made his mark becoming South Africa’s Young Winemaker of the Year. He’s even managed to secure a listing of some of his best wines in the First Class cabin of South African Airlines. This sorbet-fresh Chenin Blanc is mouthwateringly delicious, thanks in part to night-harvesting. Picking when grapes are at their coolest helps preserve their natural acidity. Vinification at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks ensures transfer of that freshness to the wine in bottle.

Colour – Pale straw with youthful greenish glints.
Aroma – Leafy, gooseberry and lemon hints.
Taste – Very fresh and lively grassy, lemony and gooseberry character. Elegant with nice intensity.

Serving suggestions
Serve chilled with aromatic Thai stir-fries, crab and chilli pasta, a fennel and orange salad or a lightly creamy carrot and coriander soup