WorldWine Tasting Highlight

2011-04-15

Chenin blanc: Loire versus South Africa

the wines
 

It was a rather difficult tasting. Not only, because I personnally find it always more difficult to taste and rate so called "neutral" white varieties - as opposed to aromatic ones - but also because the judgements in our panel differed very much more than usually - with the same panel members. While Mario Scheuermann and I agreed on the rating of many of the wines - with slight variations - the judment of the two other panel members, Toni Viehhauser and Ralf Bochinski, was sometimes worlds apart. This is why we didn't even try to calculate an average rating. We can just state that a small number of wines appeared in more than one of the four tastings lists: De Trafford 2009 and Reyneke 2009 were three times listed among the best, Fort Simon 2009 and Kleine Zalze 2008 two times.

But: It was not only a difficult tasting, but also a fascinating one, with wines of an extremely high quality level as you can easily understand looking at the scores. The reason for this is not only the fact that we severely selected the wineries which were allowed to submit their samples but also - and I have been writing that for years and years - that Chenin blanc is one of the most versatile and best grape varieties of the world.

After all, the challenge France vs South Africa - or better the Loire Valley against South Africa - was worth organizing it, Mario Scheuermann supposing that a similar confrontation had perhaps never before been organized (in Germany). If South Africa did better than the Loire Wines - the difference, in my eyes, was less marked than other tasters saw it - this could as well be a result of the French wines needing more time to develop. Knowing their ageing potential there should be something to expect from their side in the future.

 

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The wines

for detailed descriptions see the German pages  

***** De Trafford - 7599 Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch Chenin blanc 2009
***** Reyneke Wines - 7604 Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch Chenin blanc 2009
***** Ken Forrester Wines - 7599 Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch Chenin FMC 2009
***** Simonsig Family Vineyards - 7695 Koelenhof, Stellenbosch Chenin blanc avec chêne 2009
*****Domaine Baudry - 21400 Bergerac, Chinon blanc La Croix Boisée 2009
***** Reyneke Wines - 7604 Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch Chenin blanc 2008
***** Fort Simon Wine Estate - 7532 Sanlamhof, Stellenbosch Chenin blanc 2009
***** Perdeberg Winery - 7630 Paarl, Paarl Chenin blanc Rex Equus 2008
***** Kleine Zalze - 7613 Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch Chenin blanc Vineyard Select 2008
***** ?Château La Roche-aux-Moines - Coulée de Serrant - 49170 Savennières, Savennières Coulée de Serrant Clos de la Coulée de Serrant 2009
***** ? Jordan Winery (Pty) Ltd - 7613 Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch Chenin blanc barrel fermented 2009
**** +Château Du Hureau - 49400 Saumur, Saumur 2010
**** +Domaine Roches Neuves - Thierry Germain - 49400 Varrains, Saumur blanc L'Insolite 2009
**** + Raats family wines - 7599 Stellenbosch, Coastal Region Chenin blanc unwooded Original 2009
**** + Beaumont Wines - 7185 Bot River, Walker Bay Chenin blanc Hope Marguerite 2008
**** +Domaine Des Baumard - 49100 Rochefort-Sur-Loire, Quarts de Chaume 2008
****Château Du Hureau - 49400 Saumur, Saumur 1996
****Domaine Huet - 37210 Vouvray, Vouvray sec Le Haut-Lieu 2010
****Domaine Henri Marionnet - 41230 Soings, Touraine blanc Vinifera 2009
**** Rijk's Private Cellar - 6820 Tulbagh, Coastal Region Chenin blanc 2007
**** Rudera Wines - 7599 Stellenbosch, Elgin Chenin blanc Platinum 2009
****Domaine Des Aubusières - 37210 Vouvray, Vouvray Cuvée de Silex 2010
****Domaine Des Baumard - 49100 Rochefort-Sur-Loire, Coteaux du Layon Clos de Sainte Catherine 2008
**** ?Château Du Hureau - 49400 Saumur, Saumur 2001
**** ?Château La Roche-aux-Moines - Coulée de Serrant - 49170 Savennières, Savennières Roche-aux-Moines Clos de la Bergerie 2009
*** +Domaine Des Aubusières - 37210 Vouvray, Vouvray sec Le Marigny 2007
*** + Villiera Wines - 7605 Koelenhof, Paarl Chenin blanc 2009
*** Cederberg Cellar - 8135 Clanwilliam, Cederberg Chenin blanc 2009

 


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