2012 Vins d'Orrance "Kama" Chenin Blanc Western Cape South Africa

SKU #1143623 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (aged for 11 months in third-fill French barriques): Light, medium yellow. Dusty, high-toned spices and ripe peach on the nose. Round, spicy and rich in the mouth; nicely dry and tactile, with flavors of grapefruit, lichee and menthol. Finishes broad and quite dry, with a medicinal reserve to its grapefruit and white peach flavors. Intense and uncompromising chenin blanc.  (6/2013)

Wine Spectator

 The 2012 Chenin Blanc Western Cape Kama shows bright star fruit, lemon peel, green almond and pear skin notes with a long, pure, stony finish and a kiss of salted butter. Fresh and almost brisk right out of the gate, it opens nicely as it airs in the glass, showing the richness that should develop with moderate bottle aging. (Blog, 02/2013)

K&L Notes

I first tasted this wine during a blind panel tasting of South African whites at the San Francisco Chronicle with Jon Bonné. I was amazed by this wine's complexity and unusual aromas and layers of flavor that really set it apart from anything else in the tasting. The wine's most prominent characteristic to me is an intense savory, toasty leesy quality. It shows lovely toasted grains and freshly baked bread notes all complementing a solid core of ripe orchard fruits. The wine also has an unusual very slight oxidative note that I think really adds to the complexity and intrigue. It is by no means an indicator that the wine is maturing rapidly. I let the wine develop over three days in my fridge and it still showed brightness and purity. In fact I believe that the obviously oxidative winemaking process in play here may well have endowed this wine with excellent ageing potential. A complex and interesting wine for those seeking something more engaging to drink. (Ryan Woodhouse, K&L South African wine buyer) Winemaker's Notes: "38 year old vines planted in decoposed granite and shale. The wine shows exceptional concentration and complexity, through no shortness of richness and purity all held by fine natural acidity. Winemaker Christophe Durand believes strongly in true tradition, and his philosophy is to interact as little as possible with the grapes. Each cuvee reflects the Terroir and exudes elegance."

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Price: $24.99
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Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/25/2013 | Send Email
This dry, complex Chenin has enough body to please white Burgundy lovers and enough going on to have them coming back for more. I love the Orrance Kama's balance and poise- instead of bowling me over with melon power it charms me with layers of fruit and minerals. An impressive wine!

Additional Information:


Chenin Blanc

- Also called Pineau de la Loire and Pineau d'Anjou. Chenin Blanc is an expressive white French varietal that makes beautiful dry, sweet and sparkling wines. Traditionally grown in the Loire Valley, the wines made from this varietal are typically labeled geographically. Vouvray Chenins are traditionally medium-sweet; Savennières Chenins are typically bright and crisp; Coteaux du Layon Chenins like Bonezeaux and Quarts de Chaume are among the world's most sought-after sweet wines, and the sparkling Chenins of Saumur are perfumed and delicious. What all of these iterations of the grape have in common is their ability to age, a gift bestowed upon them because of the grape's naturally high-acidity.

South Africa

- Now that it has adopted a multi-racial attitude, and now that the world has embraced its government and its exports, South Africa has become a major wine producer. Unfortunately, South Africa has had a difficult time joining the ranks of competitive winemaking countries. During the anti-apartheid sanctions in the 1980s, South African wine was dealt the huge blow when it was removed from the international market, and for political reasons it was quite difficult for wine producers to market wine to the black majority. Things are finally looking up for the wine industry here, and quality has never been higher. South Africa produces a grape cloned from Pinot Noir and Cinsault, called Pinotage, which is the country's unique varietal. Chenin Blanc (known as Steen) makes up one-third of its vines. Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are becoming increasingly popular as are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Click for a list of bestselling items from South Africa.
Alcohol Content (%): 13