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

Sunday, 11 September 2016

South Africa – some fine Chenins from the Chenin Blanc Association

 Ina Smith on message –
#drink chenin

As usual at the annual tasting of South African wines, there was a selection shown by The Chenin Blanc Association. There were ten wines – the Top 10 Winning Wines of the Standard Bank Chenin Blanc 2016 Challenge. All but one were from the 2015 vintage – described by Ina Smith, manager of the association – as a great year. 

From the ten wines (naturally all 100% Chenin) shown my favourites were: 

2015 Boschendal Sommelier Selection (Coastal Region)
Unwooded with good rich weight, concentration and length. 

2015 Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc (Stellenbosch) 
I'm often impressed with the Kleine Zalze's wines and this was no exception. Nicely balanced, richly textured mouthfilling fruit, powerful long finish but with some freshness at the end. 

I preferred the Vineyard Selection to Kleine Zalze's Family Reserve, which also made the Standard top ten. 

2015 Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc (Coastal Region)
Again a richly textured Chenin, long and powerful but also nicely restrained not blowsy. Its 14% alcohol is well balanced and doesn't show.  

2013 Rijk's Private Cellar Chenin Blanc (Tulbagh)Showing well with a little bit of bottle age giving extra complexity with the ripe richness that characterised all of these South African Chenins.    

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