Stellenrust Old Bush Vine Chenin Blanc
Stellenrust Old Bush Vine Chenin Blanc - Grapes for this wine are harvested from a 43-year-old vineyard on our Bottelary property. This vineyard plays very much differently from any of our other Chenin vineyards as it is the only Chenin Blanc block that receives a majority of morning sun rather than afternoon sun.
In The Vineyards: Block 28 is planted on North Eastern slopes of decomposed granite. The effect of the wind and sun is often overlooked in the direction of planting. Morning sun usually allows for slower ripening at lower temperatures and UV exposure rates leading to elegant wines with lively acidity and a touch of class. Often associated with the beauty of a woman, not overshadowed by the make-up that she wears, morning sun vineyards can deliver big and bold wines but with serious finesse.
In the Cellar:
As these decomposed granite slopes are on higher altitude vineyards, the grapes don’t often catch Botrytis. It is a toned-down version of the usual rich style of Chenin Blanc produced by Stellenrust and a version truer to nature than to winemakers. Grapes are harvested at optimum ripeness of about 22 Balling, allowed overnight skin contact and the juice is then drained to older 225-liter French oak barrels. The age of the barrels varies from 4 to 6 years. It is not about the oak, but the texture that these old barrels lend Chenin Blanc. Wild yeast fermentation in the barrel can take up to 5 months to complete and total maturation time in the barrel does not exceed 7 months.
Vineyards: 43-year-old bush vines from Bottelary property planted to decomposed granite–dryland vineyards.
Time spent on lees in barrel: 7 months in 100% French oak, 4-year-old barrels
The delicacy, yet the richness of this wine, allows it to complement a wide array of dishes. As it is not that heavily wooded, it can be enjoyed in the summertime as a good alternative to Sauvignon Blanc – the morning sun carries good acidity and freshness in these wines. It can also be paired with more flamboyant food such as foie gras or confit of duck.
The nose shows beautiful ripe yellow fruit supported by lime on the nose. These flavors carry forward to a palate of peach and apple, supported by refreshing acidity.