Radford Dale The Renaissance of Chenin Blanc 2017
The rebirth of an underdog! From low-caste to South Africa’s most noble grape, there isn’t a grape whose reputation in the wine world has made a turnaround quite as romantic and astonishing as the Chenin Blanc’s.
A very tasty white created by a fresh generation of Chenin producers. Medium gold colour. This wine is all about subtlety and finesse. The bouquet offers ripe apricot, honey and cooked apple aromas, with a hint of oak and stoney minerals. Full-bodied and dry on the palate, with a citrus fruit spectrum, ripe stone fruit and a wonderful refreshing saltiness. Closes with a long and persistent mineral finish.
The fruit for this wine comes from a single block of old Chenin bush vines on the foot of Helderberg Mountain, facing southeast across False Bay. The vines grow high on a steep slope in slightly decomposed granite soils with patches of pure quartz near the top. These gnarly old vines produce a low yield of small berries with a wonderful concentration. After whole bunch pressing the grapes, the free-run juice settles for 2 days before it is poured into barrel. Alcohol fermentation lasts for 8–10 weeks under cool conditions in old oak barrels (using only natural ambient yeast). The wine is kept on lees throughout its 9 month maturation before it is racked out of barrel, assembled and left to settle for a month.
Hear more about the story behind Chenin Blanc’s rebirth from Alex Dale himself here.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
– 96 POINTS, ONE OF THE WINES OF THE YEAR
The Renaissance hails from a single vineyard on the Helderberg that also supplies the core of the Vinum Chenin. Made with a Burgundian sensibility by Jacques deKlerk, it’s layered and complex, with refined oak, amazing concentration and palate length and a creamy, savoury finish
JANCISROBINSON.COM, JULIA HARDING MW – 17/20 POINTS
– 4.5 STARS
DECANTER PANEL TASTING – 94 POINTS
– 93 POINTS
Grapes from a 1969 Helderberg vineyard. A shy nose with hints of citrus and peach plus a little waxiness. The palate has plenty of fruit concentration despite an alcohol of just 12.5% and nicely coated acidity. Layers of flavour, the finish long and savoury.