Laibach Chenin Blanc Sur Lie 2020
By Christian Eedes, 30 August 2021
The Chenin Blanc Sur Lie from Laibach in Stellenbosch arose from winemaker Francois van Zyl’s ambition to demonstrate that the Simonsberg, a ward renowned for its red wines, could also make white wines of note.
From organically grown grapes, the winemaking is somewhat unorthodox – spontaneous fermentation, a degree of carbonic maceration and extended skin contact before maturation in a combination of concrete eggs and large oak barrels.
It’s clearly found a fan base, production growing from 3 000 bottles in the case of the maiden 2017 (which rated 96 points on this site) to 18 900 of the newly released 2020.
It’s typically a striking wine, the 2020 particularly so. The nose is very expressive with notes of citrus, stone fruit, pineapple, potpourri and a hint of spice while the palate has impressive depth of fruit, tangy acidity and an intensely savoury finish – plenty of weight but not at all listless. Another point very much in its favour is the quality it offers comes at a very fair price, the 2020 available for R120 a bottle, the same as the original 2017 sold for.
CE’s rating: 95/100.
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