KLEINE KAAP WINES | Chenin Blanc | 2020
chenin blanc


We will be evaluating wines in no particular order on no particular schedule. Just stay tuned and you will never miss our reviews. If the wine is tasted more than once, the rating table will be updated so as to reflect all the new impressions and observations.

Today we are also going to review a single varietal chenin blanc wine that comes from South Africa – Chenin Blanc 2020 by Kleine Kaap Wines. Chenin Blanc has been grown around the town of Angers in the Loire Valley for centuries (known there as Pineau). The wine it usually produces is high in natural acidity, which can be quite useful in a warm climate, but if produced when the grapes haven’t ripened sufficiently to coax the unique flavours of flowers, damp straw and honey, the wines would end up flat, with little but acid and sulphur in the bottle. Thanks to global warming, disastrous vintages are becoming a rarity even in the Loire, and winemakers are using less and less sulphur to stabilise these often off-dry to medium-sweet wines. Today though, more chenin blanc is planted in California and South Africa than in France, but all too little of it is made with serious intent. Due to increased demand on chardonnay wines in California, chenin blanc is generally reviled as a rather bland, off-dry wine, suitable only for the bottom end of the wine market. The South African wine industry, on the other hand, is extremely dependent on chenin blanc, which represents about one vine in five. Of course it might lack the glamour of chardonnay and sauvignon blanc for example, but some producers have managed to create some very serious wines out of some of the older, dry-farmed bushes of chenin blanc vines. But enough with all that theory, that said, without further ado, let’s move on straight to our tasting results.
Take a look at the tasting notes below and our detailed assessment of the wine:

color: straw-white
clarity: clear greenish hues

intensity: rich & faulty
fruit profile: green fruits | citrus fruits
__green fruits: gooseberry | kiwi | green pear | green apple
__citrus fruits: green grapefruit | bergamot | lime
fruit character: unripe

non fruit: herbal | other
__herbal: nettle | meadow | currant leaf
other: sulphur | volatile acidity
__wood: none

sweetness: dry
acidity: high
alcohol: medium
tannin: low
__grip: smooth
balance: good
__dominant: acidity
body: lean | medium(-)

fruit profile: green fruits | citrus fruits
fruit character: unripe
non fruit: vegetal | herbal
finish: med(+)
aftertaste: crisp & appealing

KLEINE KAAP WINES | Chenin Blanc | 2020
variety: chenin blanc
country: South Africa
region: Western Cape
rating: 91.6

maturity: in its prime | drink now
verdict: fine | highly recommended
96x96This is definitely a fine wine of South Africa and with a total of 91.6 points scored, this wine is right there, among the best wines we’ve rated so far. Check our complete database on the wine rating page, where you can find all the wines that we have tasted and reviewed or go to the about us page and find out more about our exquisite rating system.

Verdict: this is a fair and lean chenin blanc wine that is right there, at the peak of its form. Although it lacks the finesse of a genuine Loire Valley chenin blanc, the wine still feels very appealing and refreshingly crisp, with a supple and lush plate and a nuanced citrusy-herbal accent. On the first nose the wine displays some subtle, off-putting scents of sulphur and volatile acidity, yet after 5 minutes in the glass, those scents are gone with the wind. The wine feels well balanced, with mouth-watering acidity and well integrated alcohol. Overall this is a fair and easy to drink wine with a round and supple palate and a slightly green finale. We would recommend to drink this wine today and pair it with naturally scented seafood dishes, like for example fresh oysters, mahi-mahi fillets or some fried calamari rings. Cheers!

© The WineStatistics ratings are based solely on our own knowledge of the world of wine and on our personal wine tastes, which may, or may not, differ from yours – the reader. Just remember that there are no absolutes of right and wrong in wine appreciation.

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