What’s in the glass tonight May 27th – Chenin Blanc

DMZ Chenin Blanc 2015

Off Topic: DeMorgenzon DMZ Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch SA 2015 

On my way back home from my London OE in ‘95, I travelled overland from Kenya down through Zanzibar, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia to South Africa. When I was winding things up in Cape Town, and waiting on a flight to NZ, I thought to take a train to nearby Stellenbosch for a day trip. I’d heard there were a few vineyards there, so I decided I would take a wee ambulatory tasting tour of producers within walking distance of the town. And so I did. I recall it was a wonderful day walking the lush and verdant countryside. The vineyards were very established, the wines seemed great (I had no idea what to look for) and I had a lovely lunch at one place that had a terrace overlooking the vines.

Looking back I am astonished I would have thought to do such a thing. I was a beer drinker through and through back then, with maybe the odd bourbon ‘n coke thrown in. I am not sure I drank ANY wine when I was living in the UK. Yet here I was, down at the southern tip of Africa, going for a wine tasting. Even back then, I must have had a subliminal liking for it…

Which brings me back and around the houses to this wine…Chenin Blanc is the largest grape variety grown in SA, accounting for 18% of production. I don’t drink much of this style, as NZ producers are not big on it at all. Whenever I go looking for a Vouvray, or similcra, I often get diverted away towards something else in the shop. But not this time…

Clear pale greenish-lemon straw colour. 14% alc.

My first impression:  Oh. F*kn yum!

A funky reductive nose. Further impressions of golden fruits, light citrus, sweetness, roundness and ripeness…

This funky character transitions to the palate. Quite ripe pear and orange flavours on attack, the funk expressing as gunflint, metallic and struck-match notes. There is honey in there, caramel, and a crunchy bitterness on the finish.

A really interesting wine, very attractive. Wonderful for under $20. You can’t beat SA for price point/value. 91 points


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