South Africa trumps the World Chenin Blanc Stage………….again!
Variety is in our nature……..and especially in our Chenin Blanc. With the world embracing the diversity in South Africa’s styles of the workhorse white, it is no surprise that our Rainbow nation, again took the International Trophy for Chenin Blanc at the prestigious International Wine and Spiritis Competition this year.
The results were announced last week and it was made public that StellenRust Wine Estate, has written another chapter of SA’s Chenin Blanc history, in becoming the only winery to secure this title for two consecutive years. In 2012, the Stellenrust 47 Chenin Blanc 2011 walked away with the crystal trophy and its baby brother, the Stellenrust 48 Chenin Blanc 2012 followed in the trophy-winning-footsteps.
Quoting Nederburg auction guest speaker, Joe Roberts’ view on Stellenrust – ‘Chenin Blanc By The Numbers’, the number refers to the age of a single Bottelary vineyard in the year the wine was made. According to general manager cum viticulturist, Kobie van der Westhuizen, ‘the beauty lies in the site specific advantages of these old vineyards. From the inception of this single vineyard Chenin Blanc in 2007, the fruit and the vineyards have grown more and more mature as years go by. The vineyards were planted in 1964 – so 2014 marks her 50th birthday. It is however not every old vineyard that produces great fruit. In our search to protect our old vineyards including Cinsaut, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc and many many more, we have often found that the investment in reviving these old vines are not always worth the effort, but when it works, it really pays off. The oversupply of bulk wine in recent years have actually been a blessing in disguise as we had no need to pull out these very special vineyards and replant them to gain yields – now we are reaping the benefits of their age.’
Winemaker, Tertius Boshoff, commented: ‘Receiving the International Trophy for Chenin Blanc for a second consecutive year, is a huge honour for StellenRust and we are proud that it’s again coming South Africa’s way. It is such a privilege working with these old gems as they have made peace with themselves. It’s almost as if they become wiser as time goes by and that a vintage is nothing but a birthday celebration of their grace and charm.’
It was however not only the Barrel fermented Chenin Blanc from StellenRust that made twin history, but the premium range Chenin Blanc, has been selected for South African Airways business class winelist of 2014, for a second consecutive year. This in the same month that StellenRust secured a listing with German airline, Lufthansa, for their StellenRust Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2012, jet blasting dust in the eyes of their world competitors, having South African Chardonnay served in First Class across Lufthansa routes in 2014.