This Rall Ava arrived instead of or as a replacement for something I ordered online. In it went to my poorly documented cellar. And then one day it came out. And what a pleasant surprise it was.
Swartland Chenin Blanc. Again.
I didn’t know that Donovan Rall was a former Young Gun winemaker and one of the most respected vignerons in Swartland.
He makes wine as naturally as possible. Whole bunches are put through a basket press. Natural yeasts (rather than added industrially produced yeasts) provide fermentation. The lees (grapes skins etc) are left in the barrel for months providing texture and savouriness to the wine.
All the stuff I love. No one wants something out of an industrial scale machine.
Rall Ava chenin blanc
Wine: Rall Ava Chenin Blanc 2016
Grapes: Chenin Blanc
Winemaking Natural fermentation. Basket press. 1200 bottles
Price: About R455+. Find it if you can.
This is wonderful rich wine, oily in texture and balanced through the old oak in which the small run of chenin blanc grapes are fermented. And it’s none too acid like some chenin blanc.
It’s an absolute stunner that improves with time in the glass.
It’s Swartland in a bottle. Really.
I’ll be back again for more, budget allowing.
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.