One of only two examples of Chenin Blanc out of 58 wines to be rated 5 Stars in Platter’s 2011, Botanica 2009 is worth seeking out (the other being StellenRust ‘45’ Barrel Fermented 2009). What is striking about this wine is just how subtle and understated it is: there’s stone fruit on nose and palate, pure but not exaggerated, while a slight sweetness and bright acidity play off against each other to good advantage.
According to the Botanica Wines website, grapes come from unirrigated bush vines approximately 50 years old in age near Clanwilliam, the yield amounting to 2.5 t/ha. Half of the wine was fermented in tank and half in fourth-fill 400l French oak barrels, before being matured for nine months.
The winemaker is American Ginny Povall, who acquired Protea Heights flower farm in Stellenbosch Devon Valley in 2008, adding 5ha of vineyard to the existing 10ha of proteas. The wine comes in fetching livery, the inspiration being the collage work of 18th century English artist and writer Mary Delany. Total production was 4 295 bottles. The wine is sold out from the farm, but look for it in the trade from around R130 a bottle.