Do South Africa’s white wines mature with benefit? Later this week a tasting convened by the South African Sommelier Association and presented by Eben Sadie to address precisely this question.
In the meantime, the Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2003 from Rijk’s in Tulbagh given to me by winemaker Pierre Wahl who thought it might just be hanging in there.
How it was put together is fascinating: 60% fermented in barrel, 40% in tank, both portions matured for 12 months before being blended. Abv 14.6%, RS 6.3g/l, TA 6.3g/l and pH 3.01.
Golden yellow in colour, the nose showed the remnants of citrus and peach to go with not unappealing nutty and caramel notes plus a little lanoline. Plenty of grunt on the palate – rich and broad with coated acidity and savoury finish. Not super-detailed but still very much alive and quite satisfying to drink.