This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for South African Chenin Blanc over £15 went to Spier, 21 Gables Chenin Blanc, Tygerberg 2012 (14%)

Tasted against:

  • No other Golds in this category

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This is the first of two Regional Trophies for Spier and its 21 Gables range, which takes its name from the 21 gabled houses that decorate the property. The winery has also triumphed with an International Trophy for its Creative Block 3.

Spier has an almost peerless history within the South African wine scene – the property dates back to 1692, and the first vines were planted in 1700. The fruit for this Trophywinner was sourced from a 40-year-old, unirrigated single vineyard in Tygerberg. These older vines, with their deep roots, are more resilient to drought and, in Spier’s eyes, are the best old vines in the region. Planted on dense shale, the vines constantly receive sufficient nutrients.

The grapes are handpicked in three separate sweeps through the vineyard, with only berries of optimum ripeness being harvested. On arrival at the cellar they are cooled then hand-sorted. ‘For our top ranges like 21 Gables,’ says cellarmaster Frans Smit (pictured), ‘we focus on making wines that reflect the best of South Africa’s cooler-growing terroirs. They are balanced and concentrated with elegant flavours and great ageability.’

Written by Decanter