Awarded 93 points and Highy Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2016 edition review of South African Chenin Blanc (see blue link below).
Swartland Bush Vine CB 2015 - Nov 2016 Decanter review
Big open skies, arid deserts, the vast flowing landscape, with its unforgiving climate and rugged bush vines, this is wild country, this is Swartland. The contrast with manicured Constantia and oh-so-cool Stellenbosch couldn't be greater. But right now, Swartland is the most exciting wine region in South Africa. A new wave of winemakers are making ground-breaking wines from Rhône varietals and it is part of a revolution that has got everybody talking. The Swartland Winery is producing iconic and award winning wines in this fashionable and dynamic region, so we have joined forces with them to create a unique, distinctive and expressive wine range that has been masterfully blended for the UK palate. We think something this good, is definitely worth talking about!
The 2015 vintage was memorable for being of the driest and earliest harvest in many years. The Swartland region’s crop was a smaller harvest than usual, but the smaller and more concentrated berries delivered remarkable quality.
The Swartland name originates from a description of the indigenous "renosterbos" or rhino bush, which appears to turn black, ("Swart" in Afrikaans), during the summer months. This hot, dry climate has an average temperature range of 25°C to 35°C and an annual rainfall of 450 mm and 600mm, but the altitude of these vineyards creates a cool oasis in this arid landscape. Minimal intervention and environmentally friendly farming practices are paramount. The soil types vary, but Malmesbury Shale dominates, with small patches of granite and Table Mountain sandstone. The gravel substructure of the soil promotes good moisture retention, essential in this hot, dry climate.
A full flavoured wine with rich aromas of pineapple and ripe nectarine over a creamy texture. The grapes came from 100% bush vines with an age range of between 25 to 30 years. The berries were harvested at optimal phenolic ripeness. An extended skin contact was applied and fermentation took place at 13°C. The wine received 0.5 grams/litre French oak during fermentation and underwent an extended fine lees contact, following the fermentation. The wine was aged in second and third fill French oak barrels for a period of six months, prior to being filtered and bottled.
Chenin Blanc 100%.
Rich aromas of dried fruit, peach, apricot and citrus hints follow through on to a creamy palate. A crisp, well balanced and intense wine, with integrated oak is still light enough to enjoy more than one glass!