De Morgenzon, Reserve Chenin Blanc 750ml 2013South Africa, Stellenbosch
While they could call themselves ‘mountain vineyards’ they prefer to be known as ‘garden vineyards’. In Spring specially chosen wildflowers flourish between their vines. They have no doubt that a biodiverse and ecologically sensitive environment produces infinitely better grapes and the beauty of their gardens is captured in every bottle of their wine.
'Grapes from a vineyard planted in 1972 were picked in four different passes. In the cellar, fermentation occurred spontaneously and maturation lasted 11 months in French oak, 25% new. On the nose, the wine shows a top-note of honeysuckle before citrus, pear and peach. There’s also a hint of struck match which I sometimes find odd on Chenin Blanc but works well here. The palate shows extraordinary fruit purity and a lovely line of acidity while the oak is well judged. What I really like about it is that it’s a cerebral drinking experience – while there’s no shortage of fruit, it’s not fruit-driven as such and there’s plenty of savoury nuance, even a certain earthiness. You have a sense it’s just going to get better and better over the next three years or so.' – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 94/100
'The 2013 Reserve Chenin Blanc, raised entirely in cask, has quite a reserved nose with delicate floral notes, though the fruit seems very contained at the moment. The palate is well-balanced with touches of tropical fruit, white pepper and a touch of quince. There is good weight in the mouth, though I would like to see more varietal character on the finish. A second bottle showed much more salinity and seemed more representative.' – Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, 89/100
'This show stopping white displays effusive aromas of white flower, stone fruit, honey and toast which erupt into opulent flavours of pear, orange blossom, caramel and spice. It’s a world class wine offering that strikes a brilliant balance between lush fruit and crisp, mouth-watering acidity.' – Winemaker
DeMorgenzon’s Chenin Blanc comes from low-yielding vines planted in 1972, which were originally planted as bush vines but recently lifted onto trellises. The vines are planted in decomposed granite soils, at altitudes of 250 to 300 meters above sea level. Close proximity to False Bay ensures cooling breezes in the warm summer months.
The grapes were picked in four different passes in order to achieve optimum ripeness and balance in the final wine. The grapes were handpicked in the early morning hours, with bunch selection done in the vineyard. Fruit was cooled down and then gently pressed, whole bunch, and the juice was settled overnight without the use of settling enzymes. Fermentation occurred naturally in French oak barrels (25% new), using indigenous yeasts. The wine was aged on its lees in barrel for 11 months, without any topping or batonage.
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