2017 Tania & Vincent Carême "Terre Brulée" Chenin Blanc Swartland

SKU #1396519 91 points Wine Spectator

 Pretty yellow apple, mirabelle plum and white peach flavors are gilded with honeysuckle and verbena notes. Shows good length on the finish, with a pretty whiff of shortbread. Chenin Blanc. Drink now. (JM)  (9/2018)

90 points Wine & Spirits

 This is a quiet vintage of the Carêmes’ South African chenin blanc, the fruit off 40-year-old dry-farmed vines grown on shale and granite. Fermented with ambient yeasts in a mix of stainless steel and wood tanks (a small portion ferments in barriques), it feels broad and earthy, with an oily richness to the fruit. That fruit falls somewhere between lemon meringue and white peach, slightly floral and tangy, a match for white-fleshed fish dishes.  (2/2019)

K&L Notes

Notes from the Winery: "Terre Brûlée is a fairly new project in the Cape winelands, founded in 2013 by Vincent Carême of Domaine Vincent Carême in the Loire Valley. The Loire Valley is known in the wine world as the home of Chenin Blanc, with the main vineyards centered around the village of Vouvray, which is where Vincent has some of his vineyards. Vincent is passionate about Chenin Blanc and has found his spiritual home in the Swartland of South Africa. He cut his teeth making Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley, and has brought his expertise to the Cape and makes a Chenin from purchased fruit in the Swartland from a vineyard called Jakkalsfontein. Terre Brûlée is French for 'burned earth' and is a reference to the hot and dry growing conditions in the Swartland, where many of the vineyards are unirrigated and also considered to be old vines. Vincent became enamored with South Africa and the potential of Chenin Blanc from the region early on, and made many trips to the Cape including working four harvests from 1997 to 2000. His own winery in France was established in 1999. Vincent’s connection to the Cape runs deeper as his wife Tania is from the Cape winelands, and she has become his business partner as well, watching the winery in France while Vincent visits South Africa to check on his project there."

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By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/24/2019 | Send Email
South Africa has no shortage of stunning values these days. Swartland in particular is one of the spots for value hunters and also one of the best places for fans of Chenin Blanc - in this case 40 year old vine Chenin planted to granite and shale - produced by someone who has plenty of Chenin Blanc experience under his belt as he is from the Loire Valley! Though the climate is Mediterranean and the dry farmed vines really struggle in this low precipitation area, this is Chenin that still has its trademark tangy, broad yellow fruit flavors. It's a delicious white, a wine that will hopefully continue to do the work of convincing more folks that Chenin Blanc is one of the greatest white grape varieties!

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/22/2019 | Send Email
"Burnt Earth" seems like an aggressive name for a wine, but this Chenin Blanc is all subtle, refreshing softness to me. Yellow fruits are buoyed by lightly floral scents and a soft minerality on the nose. The palate is more fruit-forward with an addition of grapefruit acidity, but still gentle. To the floral elements there's added light vanilla. Finally I detect a touch of pine and a mountain herbal quality. This is a versatile food wine (though especially with Asian cuisine because of the fruit/acid balance), or just a perfectly refreshing porch sipper as the weather gets warmer.

By: Adam Winkel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/21/2019 | Send Email
This is a substantial Chenin Blanc at a great value. There is excellent texture and weight on a savory-tilted palate that demonstrates its quality with emphatic length. It certainly punches well above its price class.

By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/18/2019 | Send Email
The Swartland is already the most exciting wine region in South Africa right now, but throw in the expertise of a respected Vouvray producer and you have an undeniably winning combination. Vincent Carême makes Chenin Blanc out of the Loire that can run $30-40+, but we are so excited to be able to offer this stunning wine of South Africa for a fraction of that price. The staff was blown away by the complexities this wine has to offer with honeysuckle meeting granite notes combine with bright orange blossom and lemon rind. Vincent's passion for the region is evident and this bottling shows elements that are uniquely South African terroir. This is a fun cross-over between two Old-World sites and I am so excited to give our K&L customers a chance to experience it.
Top Value!

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.