The Breedekloof initiative to reposition itself as a fine wine producing area by means of Chenin Blanc gathers momentum, the new release Reserve 2017 from Deetlefs one of the best to date.
It’s meticulously crafted, the final wine consisting of 96% Chenin Blanc plus 2% skin-fermented Viognier and 2% “hyper-oxidised” Viognier for extra complexity. The Chenin is from two blocks on the property, one planted in 1987 and the other in 1996, winemaking involving 15% spontaneous fermentation before maturation in 22% new 500-litre barrels, 19% third-fill 500-litre barrels, the balance in older 300- and 500-litre barrels along with a 5% portion in concrete egg.
The nose is exotic with notes of citrus, peach, apricot and even mango and pineapple with some dried herbs in the background. Some bread-like yeasty complexity plus a little nuttiness add intrigue. The palate, meanwhile, is marked by great fruit concentration and tangy acidity before a super-savoury finish (alc: 13.26%). It’s a bold effort but simultaneously really well put together with layers and layers of flavour. Price: R175 a bottle.
Editor’s rating: 93/100.
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