Chenin challenges Chardonnay

Neil Pendock November 16, 2016 0

Our first tasting in Portugal last night of a white blend called Dory from Adega Mae confirms that SA had better pasop in the value for money stakes, the most important horse race in the wine world. For Dory has an FOB price of R43. Thank heavens for the weak Randela or even more SA vineyards would be grubbed up for citrus or veggies. In the meantime, my tiny organ focuses on one producer who can give the Portuguese a run for their Euros, Stellenbosch Hills. It is made by James Ochse (below) who should come to Adega Mae for a harvest to learn the Dory style.

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Bottle of the Week: Stellenbosch Hills Chenin Blanc 2016

Why? Brexit and the triumph of Donald Trump confirm the twilight of the age of elites. TV pundits and pollsters are all looking for new jobs after the unforeseen events of last week. Populism is all the rage. So seismic changes are expected on the bottlestore shelves.

When it comes to whites, sauvignon blanc is the ultimate Hillary Clinton wine – sharp and nervous – while this chenin blanc is 20% cheaper for more fruit. And you don’t need a packet of Rennies to neutralise all that acid.

Tropical fruits and melon are the flavour fingerprints that make it an ideal tipple for Melania and Ivanka. US consul- general Teddy Tucker should send over a few cases for the inauguration in January or the Million Women March. Or both, the wine is so versatile.

In the food department, pasta dishes will work, especially when the pasta is made of grated courgette or zucchini. Grilled prawns are a success, while oysters also pass muster.

Chenin is the closest thing South Africa comes to having a local hero. It’s our most widely planted grape and covers a gamut of styles from tropically racy (like this one) to the seriously wooded numbers from Teddy Hall, to the dessert bombs of Razvan Macici at Nederburg . It even makes excellent brandy.

Rating: ***

***** Donald Trump

**** Nigel Farage

*** Boris Johnson

** Marine le Pen

* Geert Wilders

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