Ok, I’m admitting to a bit of a love affair with Swartland chenin blanc. It’s something that comes with a big price – R200-300 (AUD$20-30) a bottle.
I know, I know, that’s way too expensive to drink everyday though I’m still in tune with prices from Australia, my home for 20 years, where $20-30 is positively frugal. Yes, you’ll be lucky buying wine for under R500-600 (AUD$50-60) a bottle in any restaurant or wine bar in Australia. It’s nuts. But the fact is few people in South Africa pay more than R100 (AUD$10) for a bottle. Some even refuse to pay half that.
And my aim is to seek wines that are terrific value as well as just plain gorgeous.
Diffusion line chenin blanc
When it comes to Mullineux Family Wines, the whole range of wine is worth talking about. But the prices are from a few hundred Rand up to a thousand or so.
Apart from what I call their diffusion line. Just as Alexander McQueen has McQ and Agent Provocateur has L’agent, Mullineux has Kloof Street, the chenin I am writing about today and also a syrah blend.
Wine: Kloof Street chenin blanc
Grapes: Chenin blanc
Natural fermentation. 85% tank. 15% French oak barrels
Price: About R90+. Available online.
I like the slight funkiness to this wine though you’ll detect lots of fruit flavour. It’s got hints of pear and pineapple and peach and lemon among others. And, unlike many chenins at lower prices, it isn’t too acid.
This is a wine to keep on hand for everyday drinking. Or at least to drink when I’m in my L’agent as opposed to Agent Provocateur underwear.
New to South Africa, I’m exploring the diversity of wine in the country at one bottle a week. English by birth, I’ve spent the last 20 years in Australia writing about food and drink for daily newspapers, glossy magazines and my blog, founded in 2005.
I now live in Johannesburg and am educating myself on all the amazing, new, interesting and avant-garde wines available in this country.
Note: I endeavour to pay for all wines myself and I practice ethical blogging.
Also published on Medium.