How to lose the image of being an area capable only of commodity wine? Breedekloof recently launched the Chenin Blanc Initiative, which sees nine wineries in the district launching examples of Chenin Blanc from the 2014 vintage positioned very much as fine wines.
Opstal is one of those involved and this producer must have provided at least some of the catalyst for the project, the outstanding Carl Everson first made in 2012. Others who are part of this collaboration include Bergsig, Botha Cellar, Breëland, Deetleefs, Goudini, Lateganskop, Merwida and uniWines Vineyards Daschbosch.
Tasting note and score for the Breëland Royal 2014 as follows:
From a vineyard planted in 1981. A portion of the grapes frozen and only the free-run juice of this used to achieve extra palate weight. Matured in third-fill 300-litre barrels. Peach and spanspek (cantaloupe), subtle vanilla and spice on the nose. Rich and ripe with soft but sufficient acidity and a gently savoury finish. Certainly not humdrum but a little extra detail would elevate it to an even higher quality level. Price: R165 a bottle.