During Cape Wine 2015, trade title Drinksbusiness.com ran an interview with Bruce Jack, founder of Flagstone and head winemaker in South Africa for international wine company Accolade Wines, on Chenin Blanc. What particularly caught the eye is that Flagstone have launched Tributary 2015, an interpretation of the grape set to sell in the UK at €30 a bottle.
From 45-year-old Perdeberg vineyards, 70% was fermented in tank and 30% in barrel. Jack reckons Chenin can offer the freshness of Sauvignon Blanc, the subtlety of Pinot Grigio, the body of Chardonnay and the age-worthiness of Riesling and Tributary 2015 is a remarkable and somewhat unusual take on the variety.
Closed under screwcap, the wine is initially shy on the nose and tight on the palate. It, however, opens up wonderfully to reveal aromas of citrus, pear and peach, some talcum powder, potpourri and dried herbs. The palate shows fabulous fruit concentration and driving acidity, a little bit of phenolic grip adding interest on the finish. It’s muscular and lithe and not nearly as oxidative as other top-end examples often are.
Winemag rating: 94/100.