Highly-regarded English wine journalist Tim Atkin MW recently stated that ‘South Africa is currently the most exciting New World wine-producing nation on the planet.’
Having just returned from a trip to the Cape wine lands, there is no doubt in my mind he is absolutely spot on. There is a real buzz in the air with a whole generation of new young wine makers making some wonderful wines. No doubt there is more to come, but perhaps the real star of the show right now is Chenin Blanc.
Mullineux Kloof Street Chenin Blanc 2013, Swartland (£12.95 vincisive.co.uk ) is all about freshness, with spiced pear and citrus fruit and a lengthy finish. Waitrose Cederberg Chenin Blanc 2012 (Waitrose £8.99) is another fresh Chenin with tangy fruit and just a hint of richness on the finish.
Reyneke Chenin Blanc 2012, Stellenbosch
Reyneke is one of the only certified biodynamic wine farms in South Africa. Made from very old vines, it is the very essence of Cape Chenin. It manages to brilliantly balance rich fruit, minerals, acidity and a dash of oak all wrapped up in one of the most textural wines you will ever taste. If you buy only one Chenin Blanc this year, make sure it’s this one.
Hermitage Cellars £13.50.