The Blacksmith 2019 Chenin Blanc
Look I know I am a bit late to the party, but while I was being being a bit of traditionalist and a bit boring, I missed quite a bit of the natural wine movement and its evolution into my mouth. But, I am here with a vengeance and cant seem to get enough of it.
It's all about less intervention and buggering around, and more about wild yeast ferments and letting nature do its best. Tremayne Smith, the winemaker behind The Blacksmith Wines, started life as a chef in East London, like a number of other winemakers we know (looking at you Adam Foster). He was inspired by his Dad's love of wine and so made the career change studying cellar technology. Fast forward to now, his project in the Western Cape province. north east of Cape Town produces cinsault, carignan and grenache, as well as this Chenin Blanc (grown extensively in South Africa's wine regions and making up about 20% of national wine production).
Cold fermented on skins and seeds for 14 days, and left to naturally unfold and evolve, it is equally as challenging as it is spectacularly delicious. The nose abounds with tropical notes of lychee, pineapple and melon, with a hint of ruby red grapefruit. The palate is tart with a flinty minerality and a linear acidity running through it. It grips everywhere in the mouth - the cheeks and the gums, and is nicely textured and impeccably balanced. There is some cashew like nuttiness and ripe peach notes there somewhere that I am getting, and it has a generous lengthy finish.
Rarely will I make a wine decision on a label but look at me - that's how I came to this, and the fact that it is a Chenin - which I really do care for, let it be said. It's a great design and a cracking bottle of plonk - baie dankie vir alles
RP $47 at the cool independents
https://www.stockonhandwines.com/ (for orders).
South Africa | 2019 | Paarl | 12.5% ABV