Though L’Avenir in Stellenbosch was once a proud independent with Mauritian-borne, former sugar trader Marc Wiehe as owner and the legendary Francois Naude Snr as winemaker, it is now in the possession of French wine corporation AdVini and it’s noteworthy that they persist with South Africa’s two supposed signature varieties, namely Chenin Blanc and Pinotage, as the property’s key offerings. Tasting notes and ratings for the two flagship wines as follows:
L’Avenir Single Block Chenin Blanc 2015
From a block planted in 1973. Matured for 12 months in acacia and French oak barrels. The nose shows pear, peach and citrus, vanilla and oak spice plus some leesy complexity. The palate shows plenty of fruit concentration plus driving acidity before a particularly pithy finish. Currently quite a demanding drop but should mellow with a year or two in bottle.
Editor’s rating: 91/100.
L’Avenir Single Block Pinotage 2014
Fermented and matured for 18 months in a combination of tank as well as first- and second-fill barrels. Cherries, plums, vanilla and subtle spice on the nose. Pure and remarkably concentrated fruit plus fresh acidity, the oak well judged. Well balanced and quite stylish as this variety goes – you wouldn’t, however, call it “new-wave”.
Editor’s rating: 92/100.
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