The maiden vintage Steen 2011 under the Donkiesbaai label from Rust en Vrede’s Jean Engelbrecht launched at R200 a bottle and when it was reviewed on this blog almost exactly two years ago, I posed the question: “Is there a place for ultra-premium Chenin Blanc from South Africa?”
Back then, I thought the wine was “an extremely elegant offering which should reward keeping for at least five years” and scored it 17/20. It’s apparently not a fast-mover however as Liquor City Claremont is still selling it (at R199.99 a bottle)…
I picked up a bottle to see how it was doing and was again impressed. From a Piekenierskloof vineyard planted in 1979, a portion of the wine was fermented and matured for five months in old oak. The nose is very yeasty, almost malty but there’s a good core of fruit plus zesty acidity on the palate – peach upfront before a nicely savoury finish. It’s a well-balanced, subtle wine but I fear most punters who are good for R200 on a bottle of SA white are going to buy Chardonnay.