Reyneke Chenin Blanc 2020

By , 16 February 2023

I have a nagging worry about the ability of South Africa’s best examples of Chenin Blanc to age with benefit but a wine that seems to be tracking well is the 2019 from Stellenbosch biodynamic producer Reyneke – I found it primary to the point of inchoate (although still good enough to rate 91) in June 2020 while a bottle enjoyed a few days ago was just outstanding.

This prompted me to track down a bottle of 2020 still available in the trade (price: R255 a bottle). Grapes from two blocks planted in 1974 and 1976 respectively, winemaking involved spontaneous fermentation in second-fill French barrique as well as 2500-litre foudrés before 10 months of maturation.

Complex aromas of peach, tangerine, hay, wet wool and some flintiness while the palate has great depth of fruit, well integrated acidity and a savoury finish – not as punchy as some of its counterparts but certainly possessing layers of flavour to go with nice weight and texture. The farm is already selling 2022 which I suspect should not be broached until at least 2025.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

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