Prescient Chenin Blanc Report 2022: Top 10

By , 10 May 2022

Comment

5

Introduction

This year’s Chenin Blanc Report convened by Winemag.co.za and sponsored by multinational financial services company Prescient is now out. There were 82 entries received from 61 producers and these were tasted blind (labels out of sight) by a three-person panel, scoring done according to the 100-point quality scale.

Top 10

The 10 best wines overall are:

96

Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Limited Release 2021
Price: R235
Wine of Origin: Coastal Region
Abv: 13.57%

95

Villiera Barrel Fermented 2021
Price: R186
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 14.9%

95

Tempel Kattemai 2021
Price: R295
Wine of Origin: Cape Coast
Abv: 13.27%

94

Belle Rebelle Intrepid 2021
Price: R240
Wine of Origin: Breedekloof
Abv: 13.02%

94

Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2021
Price: R260
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 13.32%

94

Roodekrantz Old Bush Vine 1983 2021
Price: R130
Wine of Origin: Swartland
Abv: 14.23%

93

Bruce Jack Boer Maak ‘n Plan 2020
Price: R250
Wine of Origin: Breedekloof
Abv: 13.39%

93

MAN Family Wines Free-Run Steen 2021
Price: R85
Wine of Origin: Coastal Region
Abv: 13.31%

93

Piekenierskloof Bergendal Old Vine 2021
Price: R400
Wine of Origin: Piekenierskloof

Villiera, Stellenbosch.

About the category

Chenin Blanc is one of the world’s most versatile grape varieties, capable of producing wines in all manner of styles and at all levels of the market. As recently as 1990, it comprised around 35% of the total area under vineyard in South Africa but in the period after political transformation, the tendency was to replace it with more fashionable red grape types and much was ripped out. It nevertheless remains the country’s most widely planted, making up 16 827ha or 18.6% of the total 90 512ha currently under vine.

Moreover, there has been a growing awareness that the variety had a particular affinity to local growing conditions and there is also a sense that mature vineyards can play a key role in producing wines of excellence. Based on industry convention, old vines are defined as being at least 35 years of age , and of the approximately 4 000ha registered as such, approximately half of this is Chenin.

What does a top Chenin Blanc go for?

The average price of the 51 wines to rate 90-plus is R187 a bottle and of the Top 10 is R235. Offering the best quality relative to price is Mountain Ridge 2020 with a rating of 93 and selling for R75 a bottle.

In-depth analysis

To read the report in full, including key findings, tasting notes for the top wines and scores on the 100-point quality scale for all wines entered, download the following: Prescient Chenin Blanc Report 2022

Shop online

Johannesburg boutique wine retailer Dry Dock Liquor is offering all of the wines in the Top 10 for sale and can deliver nationwide – buy now.

Online retailer Wine-of-the-Month Club is offering a six-bottle mixed case selected from the Top 10 – buy now.

Comments

5 comment(s)

Please read our Comments Policy here.

  • Tierseun12 May 2022

    Hi Christian,

    Bosman Optenhorst at 86pts? Must have been a faulty bottle!

  • Donald11 May 2022

    82 entries is a poor return for our most planted cultivar. I’d be interested to hear the reasons – real or perceived – as to why? The refreshing independence of these reports is always undermined slightly by the number of producers who enter. Entry fees? Too many competitions? Top producers worried about being underscored and possible reputational damage? They probably all play a part.

  • Christian Eedes10 May 2022

    Hi Gareth, Being a big fan of the Filly 2020 from Cavalli as the many empty bottles the recycling company had to collect, I was also somewhat disappointed at the showing of 2021 – suffice to say, it split the panel – the issue being that it showed some V/A character.

    • Gareth11 May 2022

      Thank you, I appreciate the feedback.
      Perhaps the 2020 was a once-off which was incredible value.

  • Gareth10 May 2022

    Christian, what do you think accounts for the big drop in quality of the Filly?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Like our content?

Show your support.

Contribute