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Mimosa Hess Reserve Chenin Blanc 2013

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Black beauty.
Black beauty.

I’ve never eaten at Mimosa Lodge in Montagu where Swiss-born chef-patron Bernhard Hess presides but the prospect of a bottle of Mimosa Hess Reserve Chenin Blanc 2013 (R120 a bottle) with some good grub is an enticing one.

Hess makes wines under the Mimosa label together with Lourens van der Westhuizen of Arendsig and the Hess Reserve Chenin Blanc is a variation on Van der Westhuizen’s own wine known as Inspirational Batch 1.

Grapes come from a Rawsonville block planted in 1972 and Van der Westhuizen intervenes as little as possible in the winemaking – spontaneous fermentation and maturation in old barrels. Whereas the wine destined for the Arendsig label came out after 10 months, the Hess Reserve spent a further three months in barrel in an effort to achieve something even more interesting with food.

Initially quite shy on the nose but with time, notes of lemon and peach plus some intriguing oxidative character and a little spice. Intensely flavoured but not weighty – good fruit delineation, bright acidity and a super-dry finish. Really smart.

Score: 92/100.

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