No sooner does the 2015 vintage of the 1900 Chenin Blanc from Elgin producer Spioenkop rate 5 Stars in Platter’s than it is dispensed with. Whereas this wine contained a portion of Stellenbosch fruit, winemaker Koen Roose opted to make two versions of Chenin Blanc sourced entirely from his own property in 2016, the wines named after prominent figures of the Anglo-Boer War. Tasting notes and ratings as follows:
Spioenkop Sarah Raal 2016
From ferricrete soil. Matured for nine months on the lees in tank before three months in old oak. Pear, white peach and yellow apple plus just a hint of leesy complexity. Delicate yet expressive with well-defined fruit, the acidity beautifully integrated. Restrained and graceful.
Editor’s rating: 92/100.
Spioenkop Johanna Brandt 2016
From shale soil. Matured for 11 months in French oak, 20% new. Apple, yellow peach, vanilla and spice on the nose. Concentrated fruit and tangy acidity before a savoury finish. Not too rich or heavy but very direct, the oak sitting a little apart at this stage.
Editor’s rating: 90/100.
Also out now:
Spioenkop Pinot Noir 2015
From three eight-year-old vineyards, each eventually set to be bottled separately. Matured for 11 months in 500-litre French oak barrels, 25% new. Cherries, plums and black olive, a vague herbal note, musk, some beet root, vanilla and a vague tarry note. Pure, fresh and focused. Light bodied yet intensely flavoured with fine tannins.
Editor’s rating: 91/100.
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