South African Signature Grape
KapWeine Top 5 Recommendations
Until the late 1990s, Chenin Blanc was the workhorse of the South African wine industry – the main variety used for distilling brandy, and also the basis for most commercial white blends. But over the past three decades, the value of Chenin Blanc has skyrocketed, both in price and perception. Today, Chenin Blanc still accounts for 18.6% of the Cape’s vineyard plantings.
In one of the largest tastings Decanter has ever held, 223 cuvées from across South Africa were tasted. 28 wines scored as outstanding and 108 as highly recommended.
The Top 5 Chenin Blancs by KapWeine
Out of the best rated 28 wines (97-95 points by Decanter), we now present to you our top 5 list.
97 Points by Decanter
Based in Swartland, David and Nadia Sadie focus their efforts on organic, old and dry-farmed bushland. Plat’bos, from their single-vineyard range, is 100% Chenin Blanc from a vineyard planted in 1981 and farmed by the pair since late 2013. The grapes are grown on a northfacing slope and this was one of the earliest harvests of Chenin Blanc for the 2021 vintage.
Greg Sherwood MW: A fine crystalline example showing complex notes of white peach, juicy acids and a real translucent clarity. A fabulous example of excellence.
Beverley Blanning MW: Yellow peaches and flint, good weight of rounded fruit, no heaviness and a distinctly mineral edge. Richness and honeyed notes on the finish, and creamy oak.
Roger Jones: Refined, elegant, granite, slate, chalky then creamy. Liquid gold: delicate unwaxed lemon peel, caramelised lime zest, sweet white nuts, lovely purity and a hint of delicate perfume.
Killer Deal – starting from 6 bottles
The FMC – Chenin Blanc – 2020
CHF 43.90 instead of 59.00
95 Points by Vinous – Neal Martin
The ultimate in what Ken Forrester considers the best expression of the grapes of this variety – an icon of Chenin, a challenge to the world! Rich, layered with dried apricots, vanilla and honey. It will gain complexity as it matures.
96 Points by Decanter
Grapes for this wine from Ken Forrester’s Icon Range are from a single parcel of bush vines in Stellenbosch, planted in the early 1970s. After careful selection, the wine was fermented with ambient yeasts in 400L oak barrels, then aged on the lees in barrel for just under a year.
Greg Sherwood MW: Loaded with dried peaches, apple strudel and brioche with a top note of tarte tatin. Intense, punchy, focused toffee apple, apple crumble and caramelised notes on the finish. This is a big, rich and oaky wine, but it works.
Beverley Blanning MW: Lifted and lovely nose, complex baked pineapple, acacia honey and vanilla. Silky texture and blindingly bright fruit, with spine-tingling acidity. Oak is a supporting player to the upfront, perfectly ripe fruit.
Roger Jones: Bright, fresh stone fruit, aromas of toffee apple and sultana. Layered, fresh palate with racy acidity, and gentle caramelised pineapple. It has a lovely purity followed by that clean, refreshing citrus lime cut.
96 Points by Decanter
Jolandie Fouché, the winemaker and founder of Wolf & Woman, started the project as a passion, and it quickly grew into a full-time career. Her Chenin Blanc is a blend of three vineyard sites, two from the granitic soils of Paardeberg and one from the red iron of Malmesbury. Grapes were whole-bunch pressed, fermented and aged in 300L and 500L old oak barrels.
Greg Sherwood MW: Top class – textured depth, lovely concentration of yellow orchard fruits. Minerality tightly intertwined and enlivened by fresh acidity, focused purity and tangerine peel length.
Beverley Blanning MW: Smoky, lightly oaky nose, notes of toasted almonds. Full flavoured with lovely mineral intensity and mild creaminess. Honey and wet stones on the finish. Extremely attractive.
Roger Jones: Glazed pineapple with ginger. Luscious tangerine marmalade, it’s textural and silky with hints of polish. Fabulous perfumed finish, uplifted by silky citrus curd.
Thorne & Daughters
Cat’s Cradle – Chenin Blanc – 2017
92 Points by Vinous – Neal Martin
The 2017 Cat’s Cradle is John Seccombe’s Chenin Blanc from a vineyard shared with Chris Alheit and Memento. It has a fairly rich bouquet of honey, pale yellow plums and a light petroleum tincture. The palate is balanced with a nice waxy texture countered by fine acidity and a concise, nicely defined finish.
95 Points by Decanter
Grapes for Cat’s Cradle come from an old bush vineyard in Langkloof on the granitic soils of the Paardeberg mountains. The 2021 vintage provided much-needed rain during the winter after five years of drought. The wine is made with as little intervention as possible, whole-bunch pressed into old oak barrels where it sits for fermentation, malolactic and maturation. Minimal SO2 is used throughout the process.
Greg Sherwood MW: A savoury ‘Marmite’ expression, earthy yellow fruits, musky undertones, hints of chalk dust and a vibrant palate of sweet and sour fruits. Punchy and persistent.
Beverley Blanning MW: Mineral nose. Floats across the tongue, but its flavours are stern and mineral. Not a hint of sweetness here. Gorgeous saline finish with mineral bite.
Roger Jones: Juicy and fruit-led with darkness in the background. Sultanas and baked apples with a fresh splash of apple dust vibrancy. Gripping and fresh.
95 Points by Decanter
Traditionell konzentrierte sich Carinus auf den Anbau von Trauben für einige der grössten südafrikanischen Erzeuger, aber 2011 begann die Produktion aus eigenen Ernten. Die Trauben für diese Cuvée stammen von Rebstöcken, die auf den zersetzten Granitböden der Polkadraai Hills angebaut werden. Die Früchte wurden im Ganzen gepresst und zur 10-monatigen Gärung in Betoneier gelegt.
Greg Sherwood MW: Wunderbar reiner, mineralischer, granithaltiger Ausdruck mit intensiver Pfirsich- und Zitrusfrucht, salzigen, maritimen Noten und einem langen, glasigen, kristallinen Abgang.
Beverley Blanning MW: Sanfte Röstaromen. Am Gaumen findet man honigartige Zitronen- und Bratapfelfrüchte. Sehr schmackhaft, gute Balance.
Roger Jones: Verführerisches Steinobst, sanfte Gewürze mit Zitrusfrüchten, feine Gebäcknoten. Texturiert und frisch, stahlig und kreidig, etwas nasser Stein und sanfte getrocknete Kräuter und Granit. Ein Hauch von Burgunder.
All prices in CHF incl. VAT. Daily price from 14.03.2023.
Offers valid while stocks last. Errors and price changes subject to change.