One of Chenin Blanc’s great strengths is also a great weakness – it’s capable of a multitude of legitimate stylistic expressions, the result being that the cognoscenti will never be bored while the average Joe can be left a bit bewildered.
If you like your Chenin big and booming, then you’ll like The Bernard Series Old Vine offering from Bellingham. Tasting notes and ratings for the 2015 to 2017 vintages as follows:
Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2015
Grapes from old vines situated in Stellenbosch, Durbanville and Agter Paarl. Matured for 12 months in French oak, 30% new. Golden in colour, the nose shows yellow fruit, bee’s wax and lanolin. The palate is rich and greasy with coated acidity and a gently savoury finish – a dramatic wine. Alc: 14% and RS: 4.2g/l. Rated 5 Stars in Platter’s 2017.
Editor’s rating: 90/100.
Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2016
Approximate retail price: R225 – current release
Maturation included 10% foudre. Citrus, peach and apricot plus a hint of hay on the nose. Full but balanced – pure fruit and fresh acidity with a slight bitterness to the finish lending interest. Alc: 14% and RS: 4g/l.
Editor’s rating: 91/100.
Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2017
Maturation included 20% foudre. White and yellow fruit as well as notes of hay and spice. Good concentration and fresh acidity before a long, dry finish. Still forceful but a little more tightly wound than the previous two vintages.
Editor’s rating: 92/100.
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