2016 Reserve Chenin Blanc
The 2016 Reserve Chenin Blanc, which will be released summer 2017, was slightly deeper in color compared to other vintages. It has a composed bouquet with nectarine, melted wax and dried pineapple scents, a touch of dandelion in the background. The palate is fresh on the entry with crisp acidity. I find more nuance and harmony here compared to the 2015, a delicacy married with intensity in the finish, a tang of clear honey on the aftertaste (although there was no botrytis in the vineyard). Rating: 93 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (Mar 2018)
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44-year-old vines. Please-all honeyed Chenin on the nose. Crisp and juicy. Very cleverly put together. Far from a natural wine – you could upbraid it for being formulaic, but it’s an awfully successful formula. Long. Drinking range: 2017 - 2020 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Oct 2017)
VINEYARDS DeMorgenzon’s Chenin Blanc comes from low-yielding vines planted in 1972, which were originally planted as bush vines but recently lifted onto trellises. The vines are planted in decomposed granite soils, at altitudes of 250 to 300 meters above sea level. Close proximity to False Bay ensures cooling breezes in the warm summer months. VINTAGE 2016 was a very early season with early flowering dates followed by rapid ripening in the early part of the summer. Weather conditions during the ripening period of the Chenin Blanc were cool to begin with, with very warm conditions close to harvest, however nigh time temperatures remained cool preserving acidity. Fruit quality was perfect with no disease. Optimally ripe fruit with a small percentage of raisins and no botrytis was harvested around 23º balling. VINIFICATION AND MATURATION The grapes were picked in three different passes in order to achieve optimum ripeness and balance in the final wine. The grapes were handpicked in the early morning hours, with bunch selection done in the vineyard. Fruit was cooled down and then gently pressed, whole bunch, and the juice was settled overnight without the use of settling enzymes. Fermentation occurred naturally in French oak barrels (25% new), using indigenous yeasts. The wine was aged on its lees in barrel for 11 months, without any topping or batonage. TASTING NOTES This show stopping white displays effusive aromas of white flower, stone fruit, honey and toast which erupt into opulent flavours of pear, orange blossom, caramel and spice. It’s a world class wine offering that strikes a brilliant balance between lush fruit and crisp, mouth-watering acidity. Winemaker's notes (May 2017)
A ripe tropical nose with yellow fruit and creamy peach. The palate shows biscuit flavours with lemon zest. Rating: 90 Decanter World Wine Awards 2017 (Mar 2017)
Simon van der Stel, the Dutch Governor, founded Stellenbosch in 1679, and vines have been planted in the Stellenbosch Hills since the early 1700’s. DeMorgenzon, meaning 'the morning sun', is so called because it is the first part of the Stellenboschkloof valley to see the sun due to its high altitude. It was originally a section of one of the oldest farms in South Africa, and today it is run by Wendy and Hylton Appelbaum, who bought the estate in 2003. The Appelbaums aim to produce wines that are a combination of New World-style fruit and Old World-style elegance. They have rather unique way of achieving this, by placing speakers in their vineyard and cellar and playing Baroque music to both their vines and their wines. Wendy previously had a high-flying career in the business world, she was director of Liberty Investors Limited as well as holding several other high-powered positions and being trustee to several South African charities. Hylton had an equally high-flying business career, but then became founder of Classic FM South Africa, this passion for music now extends to the viticulture - the vines are dotted with speakers that play continuous Baroque music to the vines, which they are sure adds and improves plant growth and help - not to mention the souls of the vineyard team!
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