Patatsfontein Chenin Blanc 2014

You little beauty.

You little beauty.

Patatsfontein is a winemaking venture formed by Reenen Borman of Boschkloof, fund manager Henk Kotze and Fritz Schoon of the excellent artisan goods supplier Schoon De Companje in Stellenbosch.

Around 2010, Schoon’s father-in-law gave up his Pretoria flooring business to buy a 1 200ha property in Montagu planted to peaches, apricots and some 15ha of Chenin Blanc, Colombard and Muscat. A certain Chris “Butch” Alheit later came by on a scouting trip for vineyards to supply his own wines and suggested that what was planted was too good to be sold off to the local co-op and thus the three friends decided to establish their own label.

The first wine comes from a 0.6ha block of Chenin Blanc planted in 1985 on shale soil. Used barrels varying in size from 225 litres to 500 litres were sourced from all over and winemaking took place at Boschkloof – spontaneous fermentation and 12 months of maturation on the primary lees.

It’s crackerjack stuff. White peach and a lovely floral note (not as heady as honeysuckle, more Karoo scrub) and a little spice. Great fruit purity and an acidity which gives the wine drive (although technically not that high at 5.6g/l) and a wonderfully savoury finish – just the right amount of bitterness which I increasingly note on old-vine Chenin. I don’t like to use the term “elegant” loosely but this really is. Wine Cellar price: R255 a bottle.

Score: 93/100.

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  1. Keith HeydenrychMarch 11, 2016 at 12:32 pmReply

    Hi there,

    I am trying to find the owners of a farm called Hoek van die Berg. I have been told that there may be a link between said farm and Patatsfontein wines. I would be most grateful if you could help if this is the case as we are hoping to use the farm as a water point for a mountain bike race, as it has the most amazing setting.

    Warm regards

  2. MichaelMay 5, 2015 at 5:37 pmReply

    Doing the Californian Chenin Blanc tasting. Look forward to tasting this wine at a similar cost on my return

  3. Colyn TruterApril 30, 2015 at 3:24 pmReply

    Lourens van der Westhuizen also makes a great Chenin from WO Montagu grapes for Star Hill. Seems like “Muscadel-Wereld” has some gems in store as well…

  4. Edgmond WinesApril 30, 2015 at 12:11 pmReply

    Congrats to Reenen and the team! Such a great story behind this label. Looking forward to having this wine in our store and website!

  5. Chris AlheitApril 30, 2015 at 11:26 amReply

    From my side, It took me ages to actually find Patasfontein. I’d heard about this high lying valley with Karoo slate soil. I’d hoped that there was some mature Chenin up there. It was a cool personal moment to find the vineyard. Quite fortuitously, the land belonged to people who know people that we know, if that makes sense.

    We worked with the grapes in 2013, but we were just spread too thin to do them justice. I’m so pleased that Reenen, Charla, Fritz and Henk have given the project the focus it needs. We had a bottle recently. We were just blown away by the purity and refreshing quality of the wine.

    I still get such a kick out of these “backwater” Chenin vineyards delivering the goods and expressing their origin. Turns out that WO Patatsfontein lives up to the hopes that I had for it.

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