Jacques de Klerk’s day job is making wine at Somerset West producer Radford Dale. Like many a talented winemaker in South Africa, Jacques has more than one string to his bow. His second string is Reverie, a Chenin Blanc from the Paardeberg (and now joined by a Pinotage).
From a single vineyard planted in 1978, “rooted in the purest, crunchy, ancient granite soils I have ever seen, these vines have gone without irrigation their entire life and have grown up tough and hardy”, says Jacques.
A single vineyard of Chenin Blanc, planted in 1978. Rooted in ancient granite soils, these vines have gone without irrigation their entire life and have grown up tough and hardy.
The small crop meant lots of concentration and real presence, despite low alcohol.
Grapes were harvested early to preserve the natural acidity and freshness. Hand harvested and sorted then de-stemmed and crushed by hand & foot. Skins left in contact with the juice for 5 days before being basket pressed and transferred into old barrels without any settling. Spontaneous fermentation. Wine matured on its lees for 14 months, with only occasional stirring. No fining or filtration was employed.
Just 350 bottles of the scarce 2017 vintage came to the UK, with volumes drastically reduced by the drought in the Western Cape but these hardy old vines with their deep roots weathered the worst and though fewer grapes grew, those that did gave intensely concentrated flavours, which you’ll find in this marvellous Chenin.
Love at first taste. Frangipani, citrus blossom overlaying a grippy, savoury light-bodied wine. Just brilliant.
Grapes: Chenin Blanc
Serve this over a dinner of grilled oily fish, spicy roasted white meats and exotic fruit salsas.