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De Morgenzon Chenin Blanc 2006

De Morgenzon Chenin Blanc 2006 - matter of contemplation
De Morgenzon Chenin Blanc 2006 - matter of contemplation

When Rudera Robusto 2002 won the 2005 WINE magazine Chenin Blanc Challenge with a residual sugar of 15.7g/l, I recall suggesting to winemaker Teddy Hall that it might be tricky to pair with food. To which, he replied that it was the sort of wine that should be drunk on its own!

After business couple Hylton and Wendy Appelbaum formerly of Johannesburg acquired De Morgenzon in Stellenbosch, they made sure to acquire the services of Hall to make wine from their block of Chenin Blanc dating from 1971 and the maiden 2005 vintage was promptly rated 5 Stars in Platter’s.

I opened the 2006 last night only for darling to take one sniff of it and say “I can’t do it”. The nose was very leesy, buttery and nutty and I could understand her misgivings. However, with it being the shortest day and longest night of the year and winter all around, it seemed right to persevere.

We were having homemade hamburgers and chips (as one does when broaching wannabe-icon Chenin Blanc) and the wine did appear more manageable with food, the rich, textured palate offset by soft but sufficient acidity and flavours of citrus, dried apricot and honey coming to the fore. In the end, however, I suspect Hall is right: His best efforts at Chenin are wines of contemplation to be drunk on their own.


  1. Very interested to read your Robusto food conclusions. My first Robusto was an earlier vintage, but I found there was so9 much complexity there that it went with every course in a meal which I ate at the time, showing different characteristics, and is one of the few wines which really goes with food.

    I understand Rudera has been sold. Do you know if there is any replacement being made?

    • Only recent operational change at Rudera that I’m aware of is Adele Swart replacing Jasper Raats as winemaker with Chris Keet (originally of Cordoba) coming on board as technical consultant.

  2. It might have felt like the longest night/shortest day, Christian, but you have another month to wait for that when unlike the end of the world, this rapture will happen! May I recommend curry with wines such as Robusto or this De Morgenzon.

  3. Post originally uploaded in June last year. The wonders of the Internet that it is only now attracting comment…


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