2015 Sadie Family Old Vine Series "Skurfberg" Chenin Blanc Swartland South Africa

SKU #1281787 95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (from decomposed sandstone vineyards planted between 1940 and 1955; three parcels were vinified separately, then fermented with wild yeasts and aged in a large, old oak foudre and concrete): Straw-yellow. Sexy perfume of peach, orange blossom, flowers, nutmeg and nut oil, plus a suggestion of redcurrant. Wonderfully broad, fine-grained and concentrated yet light on its feet, displaying superb richness and depth but no impression of weightiness. The wine's umami quality and stony minerality remind me a bit of Chablis, but the flavors are totally different, conveying powerful site specificity. The lightly dusty but fine finish goes on and on. This classically dry, rather wild wine is a bit austere today and built to age. It will probably be most prized by adventuresome tasters.

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Old Vine Series Skurfberg, Eben Sadie's pure Chenin Blanc was picked late afternoon and driven to the winery through the night when it is cooler. It offers attractive aromas of lanolin, nutmeg, nectarine and peach skin, well defined and gaining intensity all the time with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity, smoked walnut, bitter lemon and a pinch of white pepper, developing more and more intensity with time. This is sublime. (NM)  (4/2017)

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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.