2017 David & Nadia 'Skaliekop' Chenin Blanc Swartland

SKU #1395640 94 points Decanter

 Meaning 'shale hill', this single vineyard is an anomaly amid the Paardeberg granite, but it gives a focussed, mineral line to this stunning wine. Tiny yields from dry-farmed bush vines planted in 1985 deliver huge concentration of apple, melon, tangerine and white flowers. The wine has a lean, direct palate with a delicious, raspy, nutty texture and bracing acidity. It has superb energy, purity and vibrancy. Just 1,863 bottles made. Drinking Window 2019 - 2026  (4/2019)

91 points Vinous

 The 2017 Skaliekop Chenin Blanc comes from shale veins on the foothills of Paardeberg Mountain. It has an intense bouquet that is probably a bit Marmite, given such a potent flor-like aroma infusing the stone fruit scents. The palate is very well balanced with a crisp line of acidity, notes of pear and lemongrass, and a little yeastiness toward the nutty, smoky finish. Very fine, but not for everyone. Drinking window: 2019-2029 (NM)  (8/2018)

K&L Notes

From a single vineyard (planted in 1985), shale (skalie) rich hill (kop) in the Paardeberg - atypical of the granite mountain that dominates the Swartland -- Skaliekop is a model of purity. Seamless layers of pink grapefruit, melon and green apples are complimented by chamomile, pistachio and waxed lemons. Its tangy, citrussy acidity reverberates through the wine to a crisp, saline finish. The interplay of ripeness, freshness and longevity is clear. Harvested on the earlier side to counter the effects of drought in 2017, it arrives with amazing balance and precision. Produced in miniscule quantities with an enormous sense of place and character! 98 pts Tim Atkin

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Price: $69.99
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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.