This Chenin Blanc is the Steal of the Century

The Burgundy from South Africa is perfumed with white flowers, honey and spice.

November 16, 2016

By DJ Kearney

Bellingham Old Vine Chenin Blanc, $24

Burgundy from South Africa? I can’t pass this wine on the shelf without tucking a few bottles into my basket. It’s a ravishing white wine from magnificently gnarled and weather-beaten dry-farmed bush vines grown in the scrubby wilds of South Africa’s coastal Cape Winelands. Noble chenin travelled there long ago, likely in the very first shipment of vines in 1655, where it became the most planted. Perfumed with white flowers, honey and spice, the Meursault-like palate layers succulent fruit, sizzling acidity and artfully managed oak. The brand-new 2015 release is still tightly wound and will relax over the next five years. It’s a thoroughly modern wine, born of venerable vines, made with a reverence for the old ways. And the steal of the century.


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