Piekenierskloof Bergendal Chenin Blanc 2020

By , 12 July 2021

In 1923, Johan Abraham van Zyl began farming in the Piekenierskloof mountains 160km north of Cape Town and today his grandsons Oubaas and Potgieter are majority shareholders in what was the co-op known as Citrusdal Cellars and is now Piekenierskloof Wine Company.

Grapes for the Bergendal Chenin come from a 1962 vineyard and the resulting wine has the power you often get from old vines. Winemaking involved fermentation by inoculation in a combination of stainless steel tank and 500 litre barrels before maturation lasting six months in oak, 30% new.

The nose of the 2020 (not yet released) shows potpourri before citrus, apple, vanilla and spice, while the palate is rich and full with zesty acidity and a savoury, slightly bitter finish. It’s a polished offering, demanding of any serious wine enthusiast’s attention, but a more hand’s off approach in the cellar – allowing ferment to occur spontaneously and no new oak – may serve future vintages even better.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

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