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Joostenberg Die Agteros Chenin Blanc 2017

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Tyrrel Myburgh
Tyrrel Myburgh of Joostenberg talks vineyards.

Tyrrel Myburgh, of Joostenberg in Paarl, says his approach to winemaking involves “intense scrutiny of the process with a view to not doing too much in the end”. Die Agteros Chenin Blanc is from the oldest vineyard on the farm having been planted in 1982 and involves various component parts, each vinified separately in order to achieving as much complexity as possible in the final product, and yesterday Myburgh presented an “Agteros deconstructed” tasting providing a fascinating insight into how this wine comes into being.

First up, the Small Batch Collection Early Bird Chenin Blanc 2016. Myburgh and team makes multiple passes through the vineyard over a two-and-a-half-week period, this wine being from the first grapes to be picked, the final wine having an alcohol of just 11%. Pretty aromatics of citrus, flowers and fynbos but the plate is light, lean and a bit sour – included in Agteros for freshness.

Next, Small Batch Collection Kaalgat Chenin Blanc 2014. Fermented on the skins for six days, this has wonderful aromatics of peach, apricot, potpourri and spice while the palate is light, zippy and very flavourful. In great condition for a wine which saw no Sulphur added. Not for the uninitiated on its own but a great building block for Agteros.

Also in the line-up, a sample of Chenin Blanc 2018 fermented in second-fill barrels and here the oak-derived character was obvious – excessive on its own but easy to see how a portion of it would add weight to Agteros.

Finally, Agteros 2014 and the not-yet-released Agteros 2017. The 2014 currently shows pear and white peach plus a little reduction on the nose while the palate has a lovely purity and freshness about it with a gently savoury finish. A wine which wins you over because of its delicacy. Editor’s rating: 90/100.

The 2017, meanwhile, is that much more sophisticated. The nose shows top notes of flowers, herbs, ginger and other spices before white peach and citrus. The palate is luscious without being “fat” or greasy – great fruit expression, fresh acidity and a saline finish. Intricate and balanced and so pleasurable. Editor’s rating: 93/100.

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