2018 was by all accounts a challenging year for grape growers because of the lingering drought and quality does look a bit patchy based on some of the wines that have already reached the market. No misgivings about the Chenin Blanc from Stellenbosch biodynamic grower Reyneke, however – it’s a stonker.
Grapes are from two vineyards planted in the 1970s that are accredited with the Old Vine Project, while vinification involved spontaneous fermentation before maturation lasting 10 months in a combination of second-fill 300-litre barrels and 2 500-litre foudre.
The nose shows a floral top note before pear, peach and citrus with some earthiness in the background. The palate is light yet intensely flavoured with a lovely line of acidity – the wine has plenty of verve without being hard or angular. Very elegant and harmonious, overall. A quite extraordinary analysis suggests that grower Johan Reyneke and winemaker Rudiger Gretschel are up to something quite special here, alcohol being 12.93%, RS 4.4g/l, TA 4.6g/l and pH 3.31. Approximate retail price: R190 a bottle.
Editor’s rating: 95/100.
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