What I Drank Last Night
Good Booze. Good Food. Good Company.

Stellenrust “48” Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2012



Yesterday the Chenin Blanc Winter Showcase hosted by the Chenin Blanc Association – wines made in a “richer, fuller, riper style” which will make good drinking in the cold months ahead available for tasting.

Even so, I would contend there’s been a significant stylistic shift at the top-end of the category in the last decade or so – super-ripe wines showing yellow peach, apricot, honey and intense oak-derived spice are generally out and we are seeing wines showing more citrus and white peach with freshness and poise.

All good you might think but Chenin Blanc can tend to be quite neutral if winemakers hold off on the ripeness, the malolactic fermentation and the batonage too much. One wine yesterday that I absolutely loved on account of how expressive it was, was the Stellenrust “48” Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2012.

From a 48-year-old Bottelary vineyard (hence the name), the wine was made using spontaneous fermentation which took some six months to complete and was matured in barrel for nine months, 90% French and 10% Hungarian. Citrus, peach and classic wet wool on the nose. Oak quite prominent but somehow adding to the overall experience. Big and bold with layers of flavour and bright acidity. I scored it 92/100 on the day.

Significantly, however, it did not find favour with various winemakers with whom I discussed it, Mulderbosch’s Adam Mason describing it as a “Dolly Parton kind of wine”.  If we’re going to compare wines to female showbiz personalities, then I would counter that this wine is far more like Mad Men star Christina Hendricks and what’s wrong with a 32F bra size anyway?

Peter Falke Signature Syrah 2012

Sock it to me.

Peter Falke Wines, the Stellenbosch winery owned by the German sock manufacturer of the same name, has remained pretty low-profile since its first bottling in 2003. However, the accomplished Rianie Strydom was recently appointed consultant winemaker … [Continue reading]

Strandveld Adamastor 2009 vs. Oak Valley Mountain Reserve 2009

Pair with spaghetti vongole.

As an aperitif last night, the Adamastor 2009 from Strandveld in Elim. With lunch today, The OV 2009 from Oak Valley in Elgin. The former a blend of 55% Semillon and 45% Sauvignon Blanc, the latter 81% Sauvignon Blanc and 19% Semillon. The former … [Continue reading]

Boekenhoutskloof Cabernet Sauvignon 2008


Today is the tasting for the Sanlam Cabernet Sauvignon Report 2014 (previously the Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report presented by Sanlam Private Investments) and by way of calibration, a bottle of Boekenhoutskloof Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 … [Continue reading]

Silvermist Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Green but not green.

An exciting discovery at the Constantia Food and Wine Festival held over the past weekend was the Sauvignon Blanc 2013 from Silvermist (R140 a bottle). The vineyards are situated high on the mountain – the entrance to the property is just after … [Continue reading]

Zonnebloem Pinotage 1975

Golden oldie.

Distell-owned Zonnebloem is apparently enjoying double digit growth year on year as “youngsters” (25 to 30 year olds) connect with the heritage of a brand which has existed since the1940s. How to build on this? For one thing, get hot-shot … [Continue reading]