What a wonderful expression of Cape Chenin Blanc! For the price, this over-delivers on complexity and intensity, with a fleshy nose of mango, nectarine and a veil of white pepper. There’s a really pleasing, flinty attack to the palate which possesses a concentrated middle, then layers of cream, nuts, honey and peach (13.5%).
Not available in the UK or USA
A rich and eclectic mix of grape varieties, styles and origins made the shortlist for this International Trophy, but in the end a classic South African barrel-fermented Chenin Blanc was the winner. Our judges remarked on its latent richness and creamy, ripe fruit, undercut by decent acidity and great length.
That’s in line with the aim of Perdeberg cellarmaster Albertus Louw to produce a ‘rich and ripe’ style of Chenin, sourced from a single, dry-grown vineyard and fermented in 500-litre French oak barrels.
Perdeberg has accumulated a large collection of old-vine Chenin in the Agter- Paarl area, viewed as the ideal region for the variety. The bush vines remain unirrigated, producing small, concentrated berries out of deep soils with good water retention – a vital quality when you’re waiting for full ripeness before harvest.
This is a place of wet, cold winters and dry, warm summers. But even when the heat is at its most pronounced, the temperature drops significantly in the evenings, giving acidity and balance to the wines. Meanwhile, granite soils help boost acidity, while the high clay content lends structure and backbone.
Domaine Martin, Monnières-St-Fiacre, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, Loire, France 2010 • Finca de los Arandinos, Viero, Rioja, Spain 2013 • Monsoon Valley, Colombard, Hua Hin Hills, Thailand 2014 • Mount Pleasant, Elizabeth Semillon, Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia 2007 • Quinta de Serrade, Terras de Monção Alvarinho, Monção e Melgaço, Vinho Verde, Portugal 2014 • Terrazze della Luna, Nosiola, Trentino, Italy 2014 • Tsiakkas, Xynisteri, Limassol, Cyprus 2014.