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Vondeling Rurale Blanc de Noir 2015

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Pétillant-naturel – abbreviated to “pét-nat” among hipsters and involving the méthode ancestrale of production, i.e. stopping an unfinished fermentation and then bottling the wine before allowing the fermentation to complete, a risky and unpredictable technique resulting in wine less fizzy than that made by the Champagne method (a secondary fermentation enacted by adding sugar and yeast) – is a small but growing category in South Africa.

In order to take some kind of measure of things, a line-up of seven current-release examples was assembled and tasted blind by a panel including Matthew Copeland of Vondeling, Peter Ferreira of Graham Beck, Francois Haasbroek of Blackwater Wine, Francois Rautenbach of Singita and me.

The wines to feature were: Blacksmith Bloodline 2017. Bosman Petnat 2017, Bosman Petnat 2017, Dragonridge Supernova 2015, Scali Ancestor 2014, Vondeling Rurale Brut 2015 and Vondeling Rurale Blanc de Noir 2015.

The over-all top four were:
1. Vondeling Rurale Blanc de Noir 2015
2. Dragonridge Supernova 2015
3. Scali Ancestor 2014
4. Bosman Petnat 2017

Tasting notes and ratings for my top two wines as follows:

Vondeling Rurale Blanc de Noir 2015
Enticing.

Vondeling Rurale Blanc de Noir 2015
Price: R265
From Pinotage. 28 months on the lees. Peach, blood orange and red apple plus some subtle yeasty character on the nose. Concentrated fruit, bright acidity and a soft bubble before a savoury finish. Very tasty and more-ish in a category where some of the wines are just plain weird.

Editor’s rating: 88/100.

Dragonridge Supernova 2015
Price: RXXX
From 45% Chenin Blanc, 45% Pinotage and 10% Chardonnay. Orange, red apple and spice. Rich but balanced with fresh acidity and a savoury finish. Well balanced and relatively complex.

Editor’s rating: 88/100.

Find our South African wine ratings database here.

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