Now and again I’m lucky enough to taste a wine that literally takes my breath away.
Cartology 2011, Alheit Vineyards, Western Cape is such a wine (sawinesonline.co.uk, £22).
Made from very old Chenin Blanc vines, it’s certainly not cheap but it’s one of those white wines where the flavour just seems to go on forever.
Chenin Blanc has always been regarded as something of a workhorse grape in South Africa, but when planted in the right place it is capable of being one of the world’s great wine styles.
Grapes from Reyneke Chenin Blanc 2011, Stellenbosch (£14.95 Hermitage Cellars) comes from old bush vines in a vineyard that’s about to be scrubbed up. Currently the Cape’s only biodynamic estate, this shows apricots, apples and minerals on the nose.
TOP TIPPLE: Morgenhof Chenin Blanc 2011, Stellenbsoch
A really inviting nose with citrus fruits, melon, peaches, honey and a little spice, and there is a well-judged oak in the background. There’s also a creamy palate and a crisp finish. It’s a refreshing change from all that Sauvignon Blanc, and it’s great value. It’s also really versatile with food.
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