Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Hopeful Chenin: a view from South Africa

Jim in South Africa with Lucy Warner – 2001

A view from Tim James on South African Chenin Blanc – highlighting their good fortune in having a significant proportion of old vines.

Hopeful Chenin  
Cinderella and workhorse were favourite clichés to describe the role of chenin blanc in the local wine industry of olden days. Well, it is a good few years since the horse has come to the ball and it is great to have her.

Although the quality of chenin blancs has undoubtedly improved (as well as being sometimes pushed too far with excessive ripeness, sugar and oak), quantity has fallen drastically. Chenin blanc used to occupy a third of the Cape vineyard, but is now at ­little more than 18%.

But no other variety has as large a ­proportion of old vines - many 40 years old at least - giving low crops, the intensity and finesse of which wine-lovers should happily pay a premium for and, incidentally, help to save such vineyards from ruthless, ­axe-­wielding accountants.'

Submitted by Tim James on 24 January, 2012 - 07:31

Link to the Chenin Blanc Association based in South Africa. 


Hervé LALAU said...

Could not agree more.
With the CWW; we had a tasting of SA Chenin and were taken aback by the quality and versatility of the grape there, even if the results are often very different to those one finds in the Loire.
Lower yield is a key element, and those who are happy enough to have kept their old vines have an advantage.
btw, nice job the Chenin Association has done.
I'd love to be able to blind-taste chenins from the two countries together.

More about this here:

PS. Next time you go there, I come with you.

Jim Budd said...

Thanks Hervé. Sounds like a good idea! Jim