Chenin Blanc 2018 Badenhorst Family Wines ‘Secateurs’ Swartland, South Africa
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South Africa is an untapped resource of fine wine and Badenhorst Family Wines are leading the way.
Sebastian Crowther, Master Sommelier
Chenin Blanc is originally from the Loire Valley in France – the first mention of the variety come from the village of Anjou in the Val de Loire, but appeared under an old synonym Plant d’Anjou. It’s a very versatile grape making quality wine from sparkling all the way though to dessert styles. South Africa has the largest plantings of Chenin Blanc on the planet. Its makes up 33% of all white grapes grown and 18.6% of all plantings. Here it is usually referred to as Steen. It was first grown by Jan van Riebeeck in 1655.
Today, South Africa ranks 8th among wine-producing countries worldwide and is a significant player regarding quality wine production. The Wine of Origin (WO) system, introduced in 1973 and went about setting standards of production and delimitating zones.
This wine is from Swartland which is located an hour north of Cape Town with fertile plains and rolling hills. It is an area of change. Many vineyards of this region were abandoned in the post-apartheid era. These vineyards are now being restored to their former glory.
AA Badenhorst Family Wines are grown, made and matured on Kalmoesfontein farm in the Swartland appellation of South Africa. The 28ha of old bushvines grow in the Siebritskloof part of the Paardeberg mountain.
Hein and Andre Adrian (Adi) Badenhorst are two cousins that have joined forces to purchase a rundown farm in the Swartland region of South Africa. It contains some of the oldest vineyards in the region and needed some love and care to bring it back to life. Adi had worked in cellars like Chateau Angelus in France and Wither Hills in New Zealand before creating his dream winery back home.
A wine made from bush vines planted in the 1950’s and 60’s in mostly granitic soils, there’s a variety of different exposures across the vineyards which brings added complexity. It see’s old cask and concrete tanks in the winery. The nose shows a classic Chenin Blanc fruit profile, ripe apple and pear with secondary notes of camomile and honey. The palate has weight and texture, honeyed through the finish with crisp acid. Save this for some pork of the barbecue.