Greatness and Chenin Blanc

I howled into Paris determined to find great Chenin Blanc wine. Being a homo sapiens Africanus South, Chenin Blanc is my national white wine, so we are told. It is was one of the grape varieties lovingly crushed by Jan van Riebeeck’s singing slaves at the birth of South Africa’s wine industry in 1659 and since then has been a ubiquitous feature on the local terroir.

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Chenin Dancing in Sunlight

Carl Everson Packshot For Opstal Wine Estate

A while back I asked MCC-producer Pieter Ferreira for one sound-byte, which is a tad like requesting a single swear word from Gordon Ramsay, as Pieter fits enough ideas and phrases into one sentence to fill a hard-drive. But upon asking Pieter to sum up one single point of differentiation he would use to sell South African wines, he simply answered: “Sunshine.”

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Young Pinotage Wines Show Grace Under Pressure

The prospect of tasting 14 Pinotage wines barely out of their nappies is about as daunting as engaging in a bit of face-sucking with a komodo dragon. At the best of times, three-month-old red wines are a tad tough on the mouth of any human not involved with the profession of tasting barrel samples before the day’s All Bran. And in its youth Pinotage can be an especially trying customer due to its penchant for infantile volatility and the wine’s love of,clinging onto any trace of wood like baby-shit to a Pep Stores blanket.

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