Spice Route Wines is proud to announce the release of their 2014 Chenin Blanc – a wine made from a single vineyard planted in 1978 in the Swartland, and proof that patience pays off.
Chenin is traditionally associated with cooler areas, yet it thrives on good soils in the warm Swartland. The 2014 harvest was preceded by a relatively cold and wet winter followed by late flowering, which gave our Chenin the opportunity to ripen later in good dryland conditions – true to Spice Route’s method of depending solely on rainfall to supply water to the vines.
The trellised vines are planted on a south-east facing slope, and the soils are predominantly koffieklip, consisting of decomposed granite and iron-rich clay. This soil gives a distinctive texture to the wine, while supporting the roots with sufficient water from below.
Maintaining freshness is paramount, and Chenin requires specific viticultural techniques under the Swartland sun. About half of the vineyard was picked in mid-March, with the riper fruit being selected and fermented in stainless steel to preserve freshness and elegance. The remaining bunches were picked early in April, boasting fruit of great complexity and early signs of botrytis. This second fraction was left to ferment spontaneously in 300-litre neutral barrels.
The two fractions were aged on the lees for nine months before blending. The first picking ensures freshness and elegance, while the second picking provides texture and greater aromatic expression. Together they create a perfectly harmonious wine.
“It’s the first time we’ve harvested so late, but our patience paid off,” said winemaker, Charl du Plessis. “Botrytis added a beautiful dimension to this fantastic grape variety, which will benefit from three to four years in the bottle.
The 2014 Chenin Blanc is available at the Spice Route Tasting Room, online at Yuppiechef.com, and at selected specialist outlets. The recommended retail price is R110.
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