DeMorgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc 2013
By Christian Eedes, 27 February 2015
It recently emerged that James Molesworth of US publication Wine Spectator had scored the Reserve Chenin Blanc 2013 from Stellenbosch property DeMorgenzon 94 on the 100-point scale, which caused me to re-look the wine.
The last time I tasted it was in July last year and I found it rather shut down. Some time in bottle has done it a lot of favours and I think Molesworth is on the money.
Grapes from a vineyard planted in 1972 were picked in four different passes. In the cellar, fermentation occurred spontaneously and maturation lasted 11 months in French oak, 25% new.
On the nose, the wine shows a top-note of honeysuckle before citrus, pear and peach. There’s also a hint of struck match which I sometimes find odd on Chenin Blanc but works well here. The palate shows extraordinary fruit purity and a lovely line of acidity while the oak is well judged.
What I really like about it is that it’s a cerebral drinking experience – while there’s no shortage of fruit, it’s not fruit-driven as such and there’s plenty of savoury nuance, even a certain earthiness. You have a sense it’s just going to get better and better over the next three years or so.