What I Drank Last Night
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Kaapzicht The 1947 Chenin Blanc 2013

A belter.

A belter.

Kaapzicht The 1947 Chenin Blanc 2013 is the kind of wine that stops you in your tracks. Grapes come from a block planted by current winemaker Danie Steytler Junior’s great grandfather in 1947 (thought to be the second oldest in the country after the Mrs Kirsten vineyard used by Eben Sadie) and hence the name.

Originally 6ha in size, only 1ha remains, with Steytler Junior having used a bobcat digger to move healthy vines in order to fill the gaps which inevitably occur over time. “The grapes from these vines ripen more slowly and they have a great analysis – they keep their acidity even when picked fully ripe,” he says.

Spontaneous fermentation was used and the wine comes from the best three barrels out of 12, of various sizes and about 50% new, with bottling done in January this year.

It’s a hugely complex yet entirely drinkable affair. Lime, white peach, yellow apple, earth, some yeasty complexity. Weightless intensity and all of a piece. Oxidative in style but perfectly done – the resulting vague sherry-like quality suits the wine. In a word, haunting.

The Steytler family have owned Kaapzicht since 1946 and  bottled their first wine in 1984, making this year their 30th anniversary.  The wine will be released in celebration of this, price to be confirmed.

Score: 94/100.

Comments

  1. Ah, thanks Danie for this extra info, makes sense now. Seems that the original text in the posting has been changed now for the better. Would love to crack a bottle with you and Yngvild, for old time sake. Was in 2006 when I really enjoyed your weekend braais with old Cape wines!
    Back in September, will bring an old vine Lore Chenin to compare.

  2. Chris Alheit says:

    I am so stoked that Danie bottled this wine. Kaapzicht is the sleeping giant of Cape chenin. They have at least three blocks that rival anything else I’ve seen in SA. I have tasted the barrels but can’t wait to taste the finished wine. Well done Danie.

  3. This is quite exciting for a Chenin fanatic. Any idea when this anniversary is to be celebrated?

  4. Danie Steytler says:

    Hi Udo,
    We got around 4.2 tons from the 1.1ha old block (3.8ton/ha). It’s rough as the grapes are handpicked into crates and not weighed as whole bunch pressed.
    It gave us 10 barrels x 225 and 1x 300L and 1 x 500L. The bigger barrels preformed better than the 225L we thought and therfore made the cut into the final blend.
    Let me know when you’re back in SA and we’ll crack a bottle.
    Cheers d

  5. Will try and get my hands on a bottle when back in SA. Can’t be enough of these rare, old vine wines! Wonder about the yield of this 1 ha block? 12 x 300/500 would be around 48hl/ha?
    Any idea about pricing?

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