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Blackwater

2021

‘Underdog’

Chenin Blanc   |   Swartland - South Africa

About

Francois continues to produce one of the most outstanding values for South Africa’s most important grape. While being the most important grape, Chenin Blanc still has an ‘underdog’ personality as it pales in global importance to Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and even Riesling. A shame, truly.  The 2021 takes on an entirely new persona as it comes from a single old-vine vineyard just north of the Kasteelberg, which is a site that has been a small part of the blend in the past.  The dry-farmed bushvines bring a saline element and fruit intensity that the wine has never seen, all with brilliant acid.

The grapes were hand-harvested in late-February and whole-bunch pressed to stainless steel tank where the lots underwent spontaneous fermentation. After primary fermentation finished, roughly 12 days, the wine was racked off of the gross lees primarily to concrete tanks with a bit of stainless-steel for maturation on the fine lees. Six months later, Francois blended the tanks and bottled the wines without fining, with a very coarse filtration and s small addition of sulfur.

Stats

  • Grapes: 100% Chenin Blanc
  • Vineyard: Single block on the Knolfontein Farm
  • Vine Age: 40-years-old
  • Soil Type: Varied: Primarily Malmesbury shale with select pockets of ferricrete
  • Viticulture: Sustainable – dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Native – stainless steel (whole-bunch pressed)
  • Skin Contact: None
  • Aging: 6 months on fine lees in stainless steel (25%) & concrete (75%)
  • Alcohol: 12.31%
  • pH: 3.45
  • Total Acidity: 6.2 g/L
  • Total SO2: 89 ppm
  • Total Production: 950 cases

Tasting Note

Well-knit, with yellow apple flavors and hints of apricot, underscored by bright acidity and a minerally undertow. Spice and light butter elements emerge on the moderately long and savory finish.

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