It seems like the good folks at Stark-Conde can do no wrong these days. Although they are red wine specialists, Cabernet Sauvignon in particular, it appears that Jose Conde and winemaker Rudger van Wyk seem to have found the magic touch with white wines as well. This is the maiden release of the Monk Stone and interesting enough in its own right comes from the very vineyard that the Field Blend is sourced from at the entrance of the Oude Nektar estate, the home of Stark-Conde wines . Not only did the Monk Stone receive a 5 Star Platter, Tim Atkin MW gave it a very noteworthy 94 pt review, so there is some merit that this has some serious gravitas. Chenin Blanc is now recognized as South Africa’s calling card in regard to its white wines and needs little introduction. This, the maiden release of this stellar offering, reconfirms that the Cape makes world class Chenin Blanc and that Stark-Conde has proven that it’s a formidable force for both its red and white wines. The 2021 Monk Stone is a beauty and has the structure for some good mid-term aging so there’s no hurry on this.
5 Stars 2023 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Focused & precise debut, with great ageing potential, 21 (95 pts) from 14 year old bushvines named for large rock in dramatic terraced vineyard. Steely & crisp, complex nuances include nectarine, apple, quince & wet pebble. Portion wholebunch, aged 8 months in a combo amphora & oak. Deserves time to fully unfurl; decant in youth.
94 pts Tim Atkin MW 2022
Made with grapes that also go into Stark-Condé’s Field Blend, this is a future flagship white. Fermented and aged in a combination of amphoras and second fill oak, it’s a steely, stony, effortlessly refreshing expression of Chenin Blanc with lovely focus, waxed lemon and oatmeal flavours and the concentration to age. 2022-29
92+ pts Wine Advocate July 2023
Bursting from the glass with a mineral backbone and bright lemony essence, the 2021 Monk Stone Chenin Blanc offers notions of wax melon with citrus blossom essence on the nose. Medium-bodied, this has excellent mineral tension with a fresh and crisp mouthfeel that is immensely pleasing before ending with a lingering, spicy finish that has me daydreaming of fresh shellfish and cheeses. Bravo! 2023-2030
Chenin Blanc is a relatively rare varietal in our area of Stellenbosch but the higher, cooler slopes and granite soils are well suited to producing an intense, mineral style. This complex, finely-crafted Chenin Blanc was matured in a combination of handmade clay amphorae and neutral French oak barrels to build texture on the palate coupled with freshness.