DeMorgenzon Chenin Blanc Reserve, Stellenbosch, 2018
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95 Tim Atkins
Gold - Decanter World Awards
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.
2018 was dry vintage in the Cape. Thunderstorms in early spring added a lot of Nitrogen to the soils resulting in very healthy canopies entering the growing season. The daytime temperatures during the ripening period were cooler than what was experienced in the very hot 2016 and 2017 vintages, with relatively cool evenings. Conditions were very dry though, with vine stress management being key to success. Fruit harvesting tended to be very early in 2018, with a focus on bringing fruit into the winery with lower sugar levels and lower pH levels.
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 (20% new), using indigenous yeasts, with about 20% of the volume completing malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged on its lees in barrel for 10 months, without batonage.
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