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Since no white grapes are grown on this particular property, Mary Lou buys fruit elsewhere and produces this Chenin in a bright, fruit forward style, that’s easy to drink. Given that the region she’s from is quite warm (like Paso) it makes little sense to work with Sauv Blanc or Chardonnay – making Chenin Blanc not just the natural choice, but an early revenue generator, while the reds sit in barrel. This Chenin Blanc is harvested from a farm which borders the area of “Agter Paarl” in Wellington, from dry farmed bush vines that are 14 to 16 years old. It is entirely Clone 220 from the Loire Valley and is grown in slate soils. Yields are around 6 ton/acre. Mary Lou makes the wine in the town of Riebeek Wes, at a friend’s cellar, since they have spare cooling tanks etc. After harvest, juice is pressed off skins immediately and fermented in closed steel tanks. Pretty simple, non-interventionist approach. Chenin from this area is blessed with mouthfeel and good acid retention, so no need for much work in the cellar. Filtered and bottled within 6 months of harvest, with a tiny sulfur adjustment. 6000 bottles made.
90 pts Decanter World Wine Awards – Soft nose of red apple, smoke and candied lemon. Fresh and expressive style on the palate with a touch of grip.
89 pts John Platter (4 stars) – Outrageously good value. Delights with upfront citrus aromas leading to tropical fruit on the palate. Lovely salty minerality keeps interest going to the finish. Unwooded Swartland fruit.
88 pts Wine Advocate