Laibach Chenin Blanc Sur Lie 2020

By , 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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