Category: South Africa

  • Piekenierskloof “The Tea Leaf” Chenin Blanc Blend, 2016

    We love our Chenin; French, South African, Australian, bring it on.  We wanted to love this.  Low alcohol, screw cap, high altitude vines.  Maybe our predilection for the varietal and relatively unrealistic expectations were too much for the W. O. Piekenierskloof, because for us it was a bomb.   Bruised fruit.  Dry, brittle dry, earthy, […]

  • Cape of Good Hope Riebeeksrivier Caroline, 2014

    Spectacular in its assertive diversity.  Some acidity on the tongue, juicy fruitiness like biting into a white fleshed peach, a toasty note on the finish, an orchard of nuance.  The vanilla is muted.  An uninhibited and delicious blend.   Mainly Chenin Blanc, but Roussanne, Viognier and Marsanne round out the mix.  I can see this […]

  • Glen Carlou Quartz Stone Chardonnay, 2014

    A low score middling wine with the Decanter bunch: I took exception and found it climbed above the measly 87 points they deigned to anoint it with, and still I laud Decanter.   It has lovely citrus notes, a spicy nuance, bits of tropical notes like flambeed pineapple–and none of the cloying oak of heavy […]

  • Swartland Bush Vine Chenin Blanc, 2015

    The acidity hits you first.  Then a tsunami of tropical notes, pineapple, guava, passion fruit.  The finish is a creamsicle.  It’s astringent and rich together.  My God, I could drink a decent Chenin every day, but am clearly in the minority (if restaurant wine lists are anything to go by—CB is rarely on offer, certainly […]

  • Raats Original Chenin Blanc, 2014

    Depending on whom you rely on for points accountability, this is anywhere between an 88 and 92 pointer, with the Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator at opposite ends of the spectrum and Tanzer in between.  Which underscores more about how people think of Chenin Blanc than perhaps the subjective nature of wine scores.   It […]

  • Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc, 2015

    Natalie Maclean loved this wine at $19.  Americans love this wine at a few dollars less.  And while I loved it too, I had to shell out much more.  Welcome to beautiful BC.   There is a marriage of apple (juice and cider and skin) with tropical notes, the softness of papaya, and a striking […]

  • Aquifer Semillon, 2015

    Like being stranded in the desert and finding an oasis.  Or stumbling upon a mirage.  It depends on your view.   Strange and unusual and overwhelmingly addictive but in the same breath a little cloying and annoying.   Abrasive minerality, aggressive herbaceous-ness, pronounced acidity.  Steely Chardonnay-esque plonk on the palate.  A long, sour, grassy finish. […]

  • King Shaka-Zulu Chenin Blanc, 2015

    Pretty good but not pretty great.   Notes of clementine, an unusual and pronounced vanilla, a tangy acidity, refreshing floral herb slash butterfly garden, and a monumental minerality that persists on the palate.  I wouldn’t have guessed this as a Chenin blind but enjoyed it nonetheless.  Was superb with a cheese souffle.  As for Shaka-Zulu, […]

  • D’Orrance Chenin Blanc KAMA, 2012

      Poetry.   If you splurge once in a while on a wine simply because of critical praise, and then are disappointed, I hear your pain. Amen brother. We need to forge a twelve step critical disappointment program. But sometimes you dig deep into the wine budget and it pays off big time. Case in […]

  • Bellingham “Bernhard Series” Chenin Blanc, 2015

    I was thumbing through a Decanter with about 150 Chenin recommendations and all I could easily source was this mid-priced bottle.  If they scored it 89 all I can say is wow, are BC wine drinkers ever missing out on some great CB, because we downed this bottle in record time.  Fresh, vibrant, zesty and […]