The Verdelho component in 2014 vintage of Donovan Rall’s white blend has been increased to some 30%, the other components being “50% Chenin Blanc, 3 – 4% Viognier and the balance Chardonnay”. In addition, the Verdelho, a variety known for having vibrant acidity, was picked relatively early while the Chenin involved three pickings, one effectively under-ripe. “I want fatness but I also want freshness,” explains Rall. “The 2014 is possibly my most balanced wine yet.”
The wine was fermented and matured for 11 months in barrel, none new and underwent full malolactic fermentation. There’s citrus, peach, spice and a yeasty undertone. It’s probably not suitable as an aperitif but it is super-flavourful with lemon-like acidity. Excellent shape in the mouth with front-, back- and side-palate. Rich, generous and supremely well put together. “I don’t necessarily want the wine to divide a room but I do want it to be provocative,” he says. Job done, sir. Wine Cellar price: R240 a bottle.