Glen Carlou The Curator’s Collection Chenin Blanc 2013

Night at the museum.

Night at the museum.

The Curator’s Collection series – consisting of a Chenin Blanc 2013 and a Pinot Noir 2011 – by Arco Laarman of Glen Carlou was a finalist in the recent Wine Label Design Awards. The idea here is “wine as art” – human agency coming into play to create a masterpiece.

Nice concept, nice enough execution. The wines are limited release – just 1 464 bottles of the Chenin Blanc and 508 bottle of the Pinot – and front labels bear the signature of the winemaker.  Glen Carlou is home to the impressive Hess Art Museum which is a clever tie-in.

Curiously, however, the wines are more modest than their packaging suggests, at least to me. The price of the Chenin is R98 a bottle and that of the Pinot Noir 2011 is R155, and while this doesn’t make either of them entry-level, they are a long way off the most expensive in their respective categories. As for the intrinsic quality of the two wines, I thought they were both fair without being exactly strokes of genius.

Glen Carlou The Curator’s Collection Chenin Blanc 2013
Grapes from 30 year old bushvines in the Swartland. Deep straw yellow in colour. Very little primary fruit – plenty of yeasty, leesy, waxy notes to go with a vague peach character. Rich and broad with soft acidity and a gently savoury finish. Rather curious.

Score: 88/100.

Glen Carlou The Curator’s Collection Pinot Noir 2011
From Paarl grapes; matured for 11 months in French oak, 100% new. Red fruit, some earthiness and notable vanilla. Quite dense on the palate with tart acidity and particularly firm tannins for a Pinot.

Score: 85/100.

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