Breedekloof Makers, the producer body consisting of 12 wineries from the region intent on uplifting their collective image through premium Chenin Blanc, continues to impress. On Friday, an opportunity to taste all the current-release wines side by side and the overall quality was generally very high.
A minor criticism is that in some instances, oak-derived character was too much in evidence, perhaps because winemakers are misguidedly using their barrel regime to signal seriousness of intent. In most cases, fruit quality is very good and the trick becomes to do less rather than more during the vinification process.
Tasting notes and scores as follows:
Daschbosch Steen 2016
White and yellow peach plus some leesy complexity. Rich and flavourful on the palate with good flavour intensity and driving acidity while some bitterness on the finish adds interest. Complex and rewarding.
A rather exotic nose of guava, white peach, melon and mango plus vanilla and a little fynbos. Rich and sweet with tangy acidity lending balanced – has plenty of personality.
Bergsig Reserve 2016
Flowers and hay before yellow peach, some waxy complexity and spice. Rich and full with coated acidity. Possesses real presence.
Botha Barrel Fermented Bush Vine 2014
Yellow peach, bee’s wax and a little Sherry-like character on the nose. Rich and thick textured on the palate with a savoury finish. Maturing nicely.
Jason’s Hill Beatrix Barrel Fermented 2016
Some reduction before citrus and white peach as well as some leesy complexity. Good fruit concentration and fresh acidity while the finish has a slight saltiness about it. Pleasantly thick textured.
Opstal Carl Everson 2016
An exotic nose of potpourri, orange and yellow peach. Appears sweet with soft acidity. Flavourful but not as tight and well balanced as previous vintages.
Lateganskop The Zahir 2016
A herbal top note before pear and white peach. Light and zippy with a very dry finish.
Mariette 2015 (Stofberg Family Vineyards)
This wine has settled down considerably since it was tasted eight months ago. The nose shows citrus and peach, some hay, vanilla and spice. The palate is rich and broad offset by bright acidity before a savoury finish.
Merwida Family Vintners 2016
Herbs, white peach and vanilla on the nose. Rich and broad on the palate with seemingly moderate acidity. Likeable but lacks some detail.
W.O. Western Cape. Dried herbs and white peach on the nose. Medium bodied with fresh acidity – clean and correct.
Slanghoek Legends Barrel Fermented 2015
Matured for 16 months in French oak, 100% new. Citrus and peach plus some leesy character and plenty of vanilla. Sweet, rich and ripe with the oak sitting apart.
Deetlefs Reserve 2015
Yellow peach, vanilla and spice on the nose and palate. Rich and broad and a bit lacking in verve. Not without flavour but a bit unknit. Not nearly as accomplished as the 2014.
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